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Changing Lives and Spreading Hope

Categories: ISSA

By Sandy Wolfrum | February 14, 2022 << Back to Articles Changing Lives and Spreading Hope

In the past year, the cleaning industry proved to be incredibly resilient and adaptive in the face of a persistent COVID-19 pandemic. As the world reopened its doors to a new normal, ISSA Charities was fortunate to receive the generous support of our industry in continuing to make the world a cleaner, healthier, better place to live.

While gathering at ISSA Show North America 2021 in Las Vegas, our first in-person event since the pandemic, we connected, shared stories, and raised over US$60,000 to fund our three signature charities: Cleaning for a Reason, ISSA Hygieia Network, and ISSA Scholars. ISSA Hygieia Network also held a successful awards reception with over 800 industry professionals in attendance. Following that, our industry answered the call for Giving Tuesday and raised over $19,000 for our cause. As we enter a new year, we are reflecting on our achievements and looking forward to a bright future.

Cleaning heroes support cancer patients

There were approximately 16.9 million cancer survivors in the United States in January 2019, a number projected to reach 22.2 million by 2030.¹ When undergoing cancer treatment, patients experience financial, physical, and mental hardships. The cost of cancer treatment nationwide reached an estimated $208.9 billion in 2020. Besides the cost, patients and their families must handle intensive medical care and deal with the side effects of treatment, including pain, exhaustion, and suppressed immunity.

Cleaning for a Reason relieves the burden of cleaning the home for cancer patients fighting for their lives. Its network of cleaning partners provides free home cleanings to patients and their families. “As a partner in Cleaning for a Reason, we get to support people in one of the most challenging times of their lives,” said Jeannie Henderson, CEO of Jeannie Cleaning. “I know that it means a lot to the people who work with us at Jeannie Cleaning to be able to serve our community as part of their job.”

Despite the challenges faced by businesses and organizations during the pandemic, Cleaning for a Reason successfully maintained a network of 1,200 cleaning partners and served more than 3,500 patients by the end of 2021. Over 150 cleaning partners went above and beyond to support the cause by raising more than $75,000.

Cleaning for a Reason is fortunate to work with passionate cleaning partners dedicated to giving back to their communities. It will continue to raise support and provide home cleanings to new patients in the upcoming year. Cleaning service providers can join our network today by visiting cleaningforareason.org.

Building a network to empower women

During this year of unprecedented challenges, working women experienced disproportionate levels of burnout. According to McKinsey & Company’s “Women in the Workplace 2021” report, the gap between men and women’s burnout levels nearly doubled, while senior-level women did 60% more to provide emotional support to team members.2 Women professionals worked harder than ever to support employees while overcoming these challenges.

To continue to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion during this time, the ISSA Hygieia Network expanded its schedule of virtual conferences and webinars. Its three virtual conferences attracted over 560 participants to network and discuss presentations from industry experts. Four webinars reached over 1,200 participants, an increase of 300% over 2020.

The network also expanded its mentoring program offerings. Mentorship is a valuable tool for young professionals to advance their careers. Amanda Jackson, category manager, Chemicals and Skincare, at Network Services Company, is an active mentor in the ISSA Hygieia Network mentoring program. “I’ve gotten great advice from mentors over time, and that advice plays a huge part in my success,” said Jackson. “You never know how you’re going to change someone’s life.”

Moving into 2022, Hygieia is hosting virtual Meet and Greet events for its regional online networking communities, where participants connect with industry professionals in their area.

The network will also host new networking conferences and webinars throughout the year. Keep up with upcoming events and join your regional community group today at hygieianetwork.org.

Helping the next cleaning industry leaders

Achieving higher education can be prohibitively expensive. For example, in just the last year, average tuition, fees, and room and board expenses increased 1% for public institutions and 2% for private.3 Students who took out loans to attend school owe an average of over $22,000 and $50,000 per year while attending public and private universities, respectively. To help relieve this burden, ISSA Scholars awards scholarships to exceptional students.

Receiving financial assistance made a difference for students like Brandon Salas. “I needed financial aid to be able to pay for college,” said Salas, winner of the Edward Lane National Sanitary Supply Co. Scholarship. “This scholarship has allowed me to pursue my dreams, and I will be forever grateful for that opportunity.” With support from the cleaning industry, he currently studies mechanical engineering at the University of San Diego.

In 2021, ISSA Scholars awarded scholarships to 35 exceptional students who demonstrated academic and leadership excellence. The scholarships, totaling more than $110,000, were funded by the generous support of ISSA member companies and individuals. Applications for 2022 scholarships are now open. If you are interested in supporting the education of our future leaders, spread the word and donate today via issacharities.org.

Extending the charitable arm of the cleaning industry

While the industry continues to innovate throughout 2022, ISSA Charities acts as an ambassador of the cleaning industry’s generosity.

We’re anticipating another active year of extending our impact throughout North America and need your help to demonstrate the importance of our industry.

Are you interested in getting involved? Visit issacharities.org today. 


About the Author.

Sandy Wolfrum is the Director of Development for ISSA Charities. You can reach her at [email protected].