Organization Helps Lift the Burdens of Cancer Patients Across North America
When Ronni Cade of Lewisville was battling breast cancer, she never knew she needed help doing the things she always had for her family. But when her daughter scheduled Cleaning for a Reason to deep clean her home on a regular basis, Ronni says a burden was lifted.
“It was a godsend,” Ronni says.
Cleaning for a Reason is a nonprofit organization that offers free house cleaning to individuals undergoing treatment for cancer.
“It’s a gift no one foresees they will need. You still think you are going to be able to do it all,” Ronni says. “There was no better feeling than knowing you could relax somewhat knowing your family’s house was being taken care of.”
Ronni also says because her immune system was compromised at the time, having a clean home was extremely important.
“It was very needed,” she says. “Debbie Sardone deserves a medal.”
Debbie, owner of Buckets & Bows Maid Service, is the founder of Cleaning for a Reason. She began the organization after experiencing a regretful phone call several years ago.
A woman called Debbie to inquire about maid service.
“I was in business mode, and I gave her a quote,” Debbie recalls. “She said, ‘I can’t afford that right now; I’m going through chemotherapy.’”
Debbie says she finished the call and immediately regretted not offering the woman free maid service.
“I met with my staff afterward and said, ‘From now on, we have a new policy. If someone is battling cancer, they get our service for free.’”
Debbie offered this service at Buckets & Bows Maid Service for several years, but in 2006, the idea grew into a nationwide nonprofit organization.
Debbie shared her company’s local policy at an ISSA Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association convention that year, and the response was overwhelming. Other companies wanted to implement the same policy.
“That gave me the idea to turn it into a nationwide opportunity,” Debbie says.
Today, 1,200 maid services throughout the United States and Canada partner with Debbie to offer free cleaning services to families battling cancer.
Including the 300 families that Buckets & Bows Maid Service has served locally, Cleaning for a Reason has served 33,000 families in North America and continues to grow.
“Most companies, when they hear about us for the first time, they want to get involved,” Debbie says. “We have really big visions and dreams and goals.”
Cleaning for a Reason recently partnered with ISSA Charities to launch an initiative in Dallas over the next three years to provide more families with free home cleanings.
“Each year, 10,000 families in DFW get a cancer diagnosis. We want to clean several thousand of their houses,” she says.
In addition, Debbie says she hopes to inspire more cleaning companies and community volunteers to become involved.
“We’ve already held several volunteer days where we serve as many as 20 patients in a day,” she says. “Volunteers from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital join my team at Buckets & Bows Maid Service for our local Volunteer Day every fall.”
In October, Debbie received ISSA’s highest honor, the Jack D. Ramaley Industry Distinguished Service Award for her inspiring work. But it is the response she receives regularly from clients that is her biggest reward.
“We get emails and letters all the time from women who say they had no idea the impact this would have on them. They say, for the first time since being diagnosed, they feel like they have a little more control in their life,” Debbie says.
“One woman said when she received a diagnosis of Stage 4 breast cancer, she had given up. But when she walked into her clean house, it gave her the feeling for the first time that she could beat it,” Debbie says.
“It’s the emotional lift they need in this dark time.”
For more information about Cleaning for a Reason, visit CleaningForAReason.org.