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Organization helps local businesses donate house cleaning services to cancer patients

Posted at 10:15 PM, Feb 01, 2022

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, — Twenty-one years ago, Mike and Charmon Henderson realized they needed to make a change.

“We were raising six kids, running out of money and we figured out we got to do something to make some money,” Mike said.

They decided to clean houses. Their office was the their Toyota.

“We started doing homes one at a time and just over the years, it has expanded to what it is today. We currently service over 120 clients now and our goal is to keep increasing that number and hiring on more people,” said Mike.

Even with all the success, the Hendersons wanted to do more.

“When you’re not feeling well, do you want to get up and clean the toilet? No,” said Mike.

Sheryl Atkinson has been using Happy House Cleaning for a few years since she was diagnosed.

After she was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, the treatments began to take their toll and she wasn’t able to do all the things she used to be able to do, like clean her house.

“I just am tired and my back hurts because I’ve got several collapsed vertebrae in my back and it makes it hard to do stuff and I can’t lift heavy things,” said Atkinson.

That’s where the Hendersons come in.

“We go in and we clean, roughly five hours worth of services,” Charmon said.

The service is free for cancer patients.

Patients across the country can get connected with local cleaning services through a charity called Cleaning for a Reason.

“We have over 1,200 cleaning services throughout the entire United States and Canada, giving back to their community by serving families who are battling cancer with the gift of free cleaning. No strings attached,” said Debbie Sardone, founder of Cleaning for a Reason.

The idea was born after a woman called her cleaning business but couldn’t afford it while she was in chemotherapy.

“Well, I was in business mode and I wasn’t thinking and we hung up and this was before the days of caller ID. And I sat there at my desk and I wondered why did I not think to just offer her the cleaning for free,” said Sardone.

Cleaning for a Reason was born out of that missed opportunity. Since then, Sardone says they’ve served more than 43,000 patients, which is about $14 million in donated services.

“It really does something to your emotional health to make you feel like, I’m not a victim, I am in control and my house is clean today,” said Sardone.

“When I knew I didn’t have the energy or the strength to keep up with it, even as much as was important to me,” said Atkinson, “We arranged with Happy House Cleaning.”

Now, Happy House Cleaning takes care of keeping things neat and tidy, so Atkinson can focus on what’s important to her.

“My family, my kids, my grandkids are huge, huge parts of keeping me positive and keeping me going,” said Atkinson.