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Nonprofit Gives Women Battling Cancer ‘One Less Thing to Worry About’

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Having a clean home may seem like a small thing, but for millions of women each year who face a cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatment, a clean home can offer a much needed sense of normalcy.

For Maria Rios, a breast cancer patient in 2009, it was “overwhelming” to see the dust collect all around her while she was so physically drained from her breast cancer treatments that she didn't have the strength to tackle it herself.

Then a Dallas, Texas-based charitable foundation came to the rescue.

Cleaning for a Reason helps women like Rios in the United States and Canada who are currently undergoing cancer treatment by offering free professional housecleaning or maid services.

Their motto: “One less thing to worry about.”

According to Lynn Frankenfield, the Foundation’s executive director, Cleaning for a Reason is “helping women fight cancer here and now,” by offering them a fresh, clean house so they can concentrate on healing.

To date, the charitable organization has cleaned more than 16,000 homes totaling in excess of $4 million to women in need.

Cleaning for a Reason was the brainchild of Debbie Sardone, owner of Buckets & Bows Maid Service in Lewisville, Texas.

Back in 2005, Sardone took what she thought was a standard phone call from a prospective client, but after being given a quote for services , the prospective client said she was undergoing cancer treatments and couldn’t afford the services and then hung up.

Sardone decided then that no woman undergoing cancer treatment should ever have to decide between treating their cancer and having a clean home. In fact, she would go one step further and offer them free housecleaning services!

After Sardone learned that numerous fellow industry professionals had had similar experiences, an organization came into being. Cleaning for a Reason was born in 2006 to fill a much needed niche.

Any woman currently undergoing treatment for any type of cancer can apply for maid services on the organization’s website. Services aren't based on any financial restrictions, and clients typically receive four monthly cleanings at no charge.

“The benefits of free professional housecleaning services are even greater than you might imagine,” said Matt Rall, co-owner of Golden Shine, a Southern California domestic referral service in Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego, one of 1,027 Cleaning for a Cause affiliates across the country and in Canada.

“Several clients have told us living in a fresh, clean home helps them feel more optimistic about beating cancer,” he said.

Like other affiliates, Rall’s company joined the cleaning non-profit to ease the emotional burden of women facing cancer. The company completely donates their services, so there isn't any out-of-pocket cost to the women who receive it.

“This is something that’s tangible, and its effects are felt immediate,” he said. “Giving these women a clean, healthy environment really makes a huge difference in their lives and I can’t imagine what could be more rewarding than that.”

Frankenfield says Cleaning for a Reason is hoping to expand its services to even more women by recruiting new affiliates in every community. You can learn more about becoming an affiliate on the organization’s website, and the organization also accepts individual donations online.

Lynette Summerill is an award-winning writer and Scuba enthusiast who lives in San Diego with her husband and two beach-loving dogs. In addition to writing about cancer-related issues for EmpowHER, her work has been seen in publications internationally.


Interview, Lynn Frankenfield. 15 October, 2013. Cleaning for a Reason.

Interview, Matt Rall. 15 October 2013.

Oprah introduces Cleaning For A Reason.
WFFA, Channel 8, Dallas, TX. Feb. 13, 2009
Youtube. Uploaded on Oct 18, 2009

Reviewed October 16, 2013
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

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