What started out as a simple, selfless idea to help women cancer patients, has grown into an incredible organization spanning all 50 states and Canada.
After receiving a call from a woman with cancer who said that she was unable to afford the professional cleaning offered by Buckets and Bows Maid Service, in Lewisville, Texas, owner Debbie Sardone decided to never again charge clients who were undergoing cancer treatment. Sardone then realized she had a viable nonprofit idea when she shared her story with other maid services at a 2005 national cleaning industry convention, and received overwhelming interest and support.
She returned to Texas and founded "Cleaning for a Reason," an organization that works in conjunction with different maid services to provide professional cleanings to women undergoing cancer treatment. Since 2006, the organization has expanded across the United States and Canada, partnered with almost 2,000 maid services and donated $4 million worth of services to more than 14,000 women, according to the organization’s Facebook Page.
The nonprofit has experienced a huge demand, as housecleaning can be a physical obstacle and source of stress for women diagnosed with cancer. The disease and its treatments often leave patients feeling fatigued, and unable to carry out everyday tasks, the American Cancer Society points out. Cleaning for a Reason aims to lift a bit of the burden in a cancer patient’s life, without adding to the financial strain that expensive medical treatments often contribute.
One testimonal on the organization's website from Katherine in Montclair, Virginia, reads, "I can’t tell you how nice it was to come home to a professionally cleaned house after a loooooong day in the chemo chair. Can’t thank you enough!"
The nonprofit acknowledges that though many men also deal with cancer, their limited funding keeps their focus on women.
Stacey Schwinghammer, a spokeswoman for the organization and once a cancer patient herself, told Newsfix, "The energy that goes into making sure [the cancer patients'] world is unaffected as best as it can be means a lot to me."