You know that feeling of dread when you come home to a house in dire need of a cleaning. You may put it off for another day or mutter to yourself as you take care of the laundry, dishes and vacuuming. Imagine how it feels to a person who has spent the day at a hospital being treated for an insidious disease like cancer.
Thanks to the efforts of people like West Palm Beach resident Barry Swett, many local cancer patients are coming home to a clean house after their treatments. Barry is part of a dedicated group called Cleaning for a Reason.
Started in Texas in 2006, the foundation is the brainchild of Deborah Sardone of Lewisville. Through her cleaning company, Buckets & Bows Maid Service, Sardone decided to help ease the stress of women dealing with cancer by helping them with some of the everyday chores that can seem insurmountable when they are trying to beat the disease. What was once a one-company service has branched out across the country, and now 415 cleaning services are involved.
Barry and his wife Beth, owners of Kingdom Kleaning, are no strangers to dirt. They have been the owners and managers of their company, which specializes in residential house cleaning, for nine years.
Long before they heard of Cleaning for a Reason, Beth said they had offered their services free of charge to people they knew were dealing with hardship. When she learned of the foundation in June, it was a natural progression for them to join in.
“This particularly hit home,” Barry added. “I lost my father to brain cancer. For a lot of people, there is no one to help out. This means so much.”
Barry said the cleaning companies that join the foundation help support it through both their free cleaning services and other donations. The nonprofit group offers a 1-800 number for women in treatment to call. The members help pay for that toll free number along with all of the cleaning supplies and the working hours. There is absolutely no fee to the clients.
“You know how it feels to come home when your house is a mess,” Beth said. “Imagine coming home to that when you have to go for treatments. With Cleaning for a Reason, now they are able to find us.”
The foundation matches qualified patients with cleaning services in their area. The foundation currently only serves women in need. The only qualification is that the patient’s doctor verifies the person is undergoing cancer treatments. Service companies commit to four cleanings per client.
Cleaning for a Reason is seeking corporate sponsors in an effort to increase the availability and frequency of its services.
Kingdom Kleaning sends out two employees that work together and provide three man-hours per visit to each home.
“It’s a general cleaning,” Barry said. “We’re there once a month. It gets them by. We’re there for four months as they are going through their treatments. It doesn’t matter how much money you make, only that you are going through treatment.”
Barry said he hopes to see other local cleaning companies join the foundation.
“We need cleaning companies to help out,” he said. “Donations are helpful too. These cleaning companies that are already involved are doing this just because it’s what we do best – help keep homes clean and give the homeowner a sense of order in their universe.”
For more information on Cleaning for a Reason, visit www.CleaningForAReason.org or call 877-337-3348. For information on Kingdom Kleaning, visit KingdomKleaning.net or call 561-333-3356.