They focus on the home, so their clients can focus on the fight of their lives.
Cleaning for a Reason is a nonprofit that provides cleaning services for cancer patients in the United States and Canada. President and founder Debbie Sardone formed Cleaning for a Reason when a prospective client told her that they could not afford housekeeping services due to being diagnosed with cancer. After sharing her story with other maid services at a national cleaning industry convention, the overwhelming support led Sardone to create Cleaning for a Reason. Today the organization consists of 1,200 maid services who have volunteered their time to clean for upwards of 30,000 women for a value of more than $10,000,000.
For MaidPro North Alabama franchise owner Ashlee Smith, joining Cleaning for a Reason in 2017 was more than just a good deed, it was deeply personal. Smith’s son was diagnosed at cancer at age 9 and although he is now a healthy 18-year-old, Smith never forgot what it felt like to face a scary and uncertain future.
“I knew how tough it was to have any sort of organization in your life during that time … I needed help because all of my attention needed to be on him,” she said. “It is amazing what they do and I decided right there to sign up all three of our locations: here (Huntsville), Decatur and Muscle Shoals.”
Cleaning for a Reason provides two free of charge home cleanings for clients undergoing cancer treatment. In 2019, the organization expanded their services to also include men and children patients. It was an expansion that Smith strongly supported, especially since her father’s cancer diagnosis.
Smith said that she is especially cognizant of the teams that she sends into their clients’ home, making sure that no one has been recently ill. She also takes special care when scheduling the cleaning as the clients “have so many (medical) appointments going on, we are really accommodating to fit into their schedule,” she said. “We prioritize their cleaning to what is the most important to them.”
The patients will invite MaidPro into their home, but oftentimes also invite them into their lives.
“The clients fall in love with us,” Smith said. “They have been so happy and thankful. They know that they get two cleanings so 99% of the time, they want the same person back (for the second cleaning) because they are able to tell their story with that service provider and they gain a relationship.”
In the first year, MaidPro North Alabama cleaned around 25 patients’ homes and has doubled that number in 2019. For the service provider teams, it has become an opportunity for them to lighten a heavy load for their clients.
“You are helping people, you are not just going in for a job,” said Smith’s husband Brandon, sales manager for the franchise.
Although they have a set amount of time scheduled for each cleaning, many times Smith’s teams will stay longer due to the emotional connection that they develop.
“They genuinely enjoy getting those cleanings,” Smith said. “They feel like they are helping someone and that is what it is all about.”