As Breast Cancer Awareness Month continues, one local nonprofit is still working to expand its reach across the country, giving free house cleanings to cancer patients.
Debbie Sardone, owner and CEO of Lewisville’s Buckets & Bows Maid Service, received a call about 15 years ago from a woman who wanted to know how much it would cost to have her home cleaned.
“She said she couldn’t afford it because she had cancer and couldn’t work, and we agreed she could call back when she gets back to work,” Sardone said. “I hung up and immediately realized that I missed an opportunity, that I could have just cleaned her home for free. The next day, I set a new policy that service is free for a woman who can’t afford it and has cancer.”
Soon after, Sardone told other cleaning company owners about this policy and they expressed interest in doing the same thing. That’s when she realized it should be a nationwide nonprofit. Fifteen years later, Sardone’s nonprofit Cleaning For A Reason has served 41,000 households with cleaning services valued over $14 million provided by more than 1,200 cleaning companies around the country. Cleaning For A Reason now provides these free cleanings to any household of a cancer patient who can’t afford it, regardless of gender. A few years ago, the nonprofit merged with the charities of ISSA, the worldwide cleaning industry association, something that has been especially beneficial during the coronavirus pandemic.
“ISSA was a big part of making sure that the federal government recognized home cleaning as an essential service,” Sardone said. “Our cleaning companies realized that cancer patients need us now more than ever.
“Cleaning has been viewed as a luxury, but I think in light of the pandemic, people are more aware of how important a clean space is. Especially if your immune system has been compromised, cleaning is really no longer a luxury; it’s a part of the solution.”
If you want to help Cleaning For A Reason’s cause, you can donate here and spread the word with others.
“If you are using a cleaning service that’s in the Cleaning For A Reason program, do a shout-out on social media to recommend them for doing this program because it encourages them to stay in the program,” Sardone said. “If your cleaning company is not in the program, chances are they don’t know about it, so encourage them to get involved. We want to be able to reach more companies so we can serve more families.”
If you or a loved one are a cancer patient who can’t afford cleaning service and would like help from the program, click here.