Road to recovery requires cleaningArea News
-- “Fighting cancer is difficult enough,” said cancer survivor Cyndi Cashman of River Falls, “but living with it is even tougher and that’s where Cleaning For A Reason steps in.”
By: Debbie Griffin, Pierce County Herald
“Fighting cancer is difficult enough,” said cancer survivor Cyndi Cashman of River Falls, “but living with it is even tougher and that’s where Cleaning For A Reason steps in.”
Cashman, who owns and operates the HAIRitage salon in Prescott, has for years volunteered -- along with other locals -- with the Look Good Feel Better program that teaches women cosmetic tips and beauty tricks to help them during chemotherapy and/or radiation.
She recently sought help for a sick friend, calling the nationwide non-profit Cleaning for a Reason to request the free housecleaning service it provides to women undergoing cancer treatments. Cashman discovered that while the organization operates in Ashland, Greenfield, Ixonia, Kenosha, Madison, Menasha, Menomonee Falls, Nekoosa, Oconto, Peshtigo, Prairie Du Sac, Sheboygan and Wausau, it doesn’t have any cleaning partners in western Wisconsin.
“T hey said there’s no one in this area that’s signed up yet,” she said.
That was a few months ago and was the time she began to seek partners and spread the word about Cleaning for a Reason. It partners with housekeeping companies and/or individuals who are bonded and insured to provide up to four free housecleaning services.
Cashman and the organization confirm that it not only needs cleaning-service partners in this area of the country but also donors and sponsors who can help the organization keep on giving.
“As a two-time cancer survivor myself, I know how important this service is,” she said. “I was lucky enough to have family and friends that could help me, but there are many patients who do not have that luxury or the money to pay for cleaning, especially when they are not working or don’t have the time and energy while going through treatments.”
Cashman says she can’t imagine making her journey without all the help she had but feels for people who may not live near family or could be new to town and not have a network of support.
She emphasized how the service goes beyond just helping. Most doctors advise cancer patients to avoid germs since their immune systems are seriously compromised, especially during chemotherapy and radiation.
Cancer patients don’t need dirty dishes piling up, and their toilets still need cleaning even when they’re sick. And, says Cashman, usually by the time a woman begins treatments, the housework has already fallen behind because they haven’t been feeling well for a while.
One click starts movement
Executive director for the Lewisville, Texas-based non-profit Cleaning for a Reason, Zane King, said the organization got its start when a lady with cancer called the company founder, who owned a cleaning service.
The woman asked about the price of services, then said, “I can’t afford that. I have cancer.” Click.
King said the founder made up her mind that day she’d get involved, forming Cleaning for a Reason in 2006, then spreading the word to associates in the industry. She told how fulfilling the work is and how her involvement helped promote the business.
Slowly, the non-profit business gained partners – bonded and insured cleaning services or individuals who commit to cleaning at least two homes per month and offer a monthly pledge of $20.
King said the service has grown.
“Just as of last week, we have 1,000 partners.”
He confirms that while Cleaning serves only women currently undergoing treatment, it hopes to expand resources and grow in the future.
King said how far the services travel and if they cross state lines is up to them to decide. He explained that the organization tries to spread the message and support its partners any way possible, but they are the volunteers who do the work.
“Our goal is to serve the partners so they can serve more patients,” he said.
King said the organization believes in the value of service and that giving to someone in their darkest hour is sowing good into the world. The non-profit makes it clear to volunteer cleaners that their partnership is an act of benevolence.
“We want it to be something that’s given with no expectation in return,” he said.
Cleaning has helped 4,000 women with cancer with more than $1 million in donated cleanings. It asks people to help spread the word to cleaning services they use at home or work, to their friends and families and others.
To learn more, donate or volunteer, visit the organization’s website: www.cleaningforareason.org .