Episode 217 – How Debbie Sardone Turned One Cleaning Services Proposal Into A Major Passion Project
Cleaning For A Reason
How Debbie Sardone Turned One Cleaning Services Proposal Into A Major Passion Project
In Today’s podcast Mike speaks with Debbie Sardone about her company Cleaning For A Reason. Cleaning for a Reason is a non-profit that provides women who have cancer with free house cleaning. The project began in 2006 and has now worked with more than 1200 cleaning companies to help serve 25,000 women. Debbie used one cleaning services proposal that didn’t go according to plan as inspiration for the entire organization. And has now changed the lives of so many people in her community, and the nation.
KEY POINT: Service Can Be Fun!
Debbie even recently threw the first pitch at Yankee Stadium in front of 39,000 fans. The non-profit participated in Hope Week, and were able to clean the apartment of cancer patient with the Yankee’s team manager and three top players. What a cool way to get involved, and bring joy to someone’s life.
The woman receiving the cleaning is a huge Yankees fan and actually got to go out with Debbie on the field. This event was just one example of the many opportunities Debbie has created for cleaning businesses, cancer patients, and the community over the years. So how did she come to be so successful in her endeavors?
KEY POINT: Don’t Just Talk About Your Core Values- ACT On Them
Debbie still owns her cleaning service in Dallas, Speed Cleaning. Cleaning For A Reason began as a company policy.
Debbie was making a cleaning services proposal to a woman on the phone one day. After receiving the quote, the woman explained she couldn’t afford the service because she was going through chemo-therapy and radiation.
RESOURCE ALERT: To Learn How Being Grateful Can Help Your Business Soar
Debbie recalls being in “business mode,” saying, “Thank you for your time,” and thinking of the phone call as just another failed cleaning services proposal.
However, when she hung up the phone she immediately wished she had offered to clean for free, and wondered why her first instinct hadn’t been to help the woman.
KEY POINT: Learn From Your Mistakes, And Immediately Set Up Processes To Prevent Them
When you feel bad about something you have two choices. One is to do nothing and let the mistake happen again. The other, better choice, is to ask yourself, “how do I prevent what just happened from ever happening again?”
Debbie immediately told the staff that if during a cleaning services proposal they ever encounter a woman who has cancer and can’t afford the service, the cleaning will be given to her for free.
For several years the company cleaned for cancer patients, and gave their services as charity. Some of the patients were even employees or friends of employees. Debbie saw what an impact the policy had on her community, but didn’t like how inconsistent the service was.
KEY POINT: Your Network Can Help You Reach New Heights
One day Debbie’s network helped her realize an even larger dream. Ten years ago she was speaking to a room full of cleaning companies, and shared the company policy. So many companies came up to her and said, “I want to do that!” She realized the companies could be doing it all over the country if they just had a way to make it easy for them.
Now Debbie runs Cleaning For A Reason, and helps cleaning companies all over the nation serve cancer patients in their area. Debbie puts the companies in contact with family in need in their community, and helps them get the word out about their services. The companies not only make a difference, but they also gain incredibly valuable marketing exposure. Some companies even find themselves on television or in the paper. It’s a win for everyone involved.
Debbie takes no salary or compensation, and all the money goes right back into the community.
RESOURCE ALERT: To Learn Why Participating In Cleaning For A Reason Is The Right Move For Your Company
There is no startup fee for companies wanting to provide services. You simply need to have been in business for at least one year, or have an EIN, as well as be willing to commit to giving two cleanings a month. Companies are also required to make a monthly 20 dollar pledge which goes towards a whole host of services.
In return for their service, companies are sent a whole packet of materials. There is ton of PR work involved, and before you know if you’ll be drawing in customers and employees just because they know you are a participant in this program.
Debbie used one faulty cleaning services proposal and turned it into an incredibly non-profit company that services so many cancer patients and businesses throughout the nation. We can all learn from her tenacity, core values, and hardwork.