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Cleaning Homes During COVID-19

Categories: Cleaning for Health, ISSA

By Lucy Lee | June 1, 2021 << Back to Articles Cleaning Homes  During COVID-19

When COVID-19 struck, cleanliness became more crucial than ever. For cancer patients with compromised immune systems and other health concerns, having a clean home is essential. However, most cancer patients and their caregivers often feel overwhelmed by the diagnosis, treatments, and other day-to-day tasks, making cleaning a low priority. That is where Cleaning for a Reason steps in, a signature ISSA charity that partners with residential cleaning companies to provide free cleaning services to cancer patients.

A growing community

One of Cleaning for a Reason’s partners, Diane Daniel, owner of Enjoy Life Cleaning Services LLC in Douglasville, Georgia, immediately felt she had to be a part of the program. As a child, she witnessed her courageous mother beat cancer twice and saw her community come together to support her family during that challenging time. “When I was first introduced to Cleaning for a Reason, I realized this is where my heart is. This is my opportunity to give back and be a part of the community that was there for my mom.” Since 2018, Enjoy Life Cleaning Services has extended its support and services to 21 local cancer patients. 

For John Winter, co-owner of Dawn to Dusk Cleaning Service in Shelby Township, Michigan, Cleaning for a Reason’s mission also struck a personal heartstring. After he lost his first wife to cancer, he wanted to do something to give back to those who are going through one of the most challenging experiences. “We want to do everything we can to help patients focus on getting better, and over the years, we’ve met some of the greatest people.” Since 2015, Dawn to Dusk Cleaning Service has served 60 cancer patients and has enhanced its services by using hospital-grade disinfecting products that do not leave behind harsh fumes or chemicals.

Another Cleaning for a Reason partner, Jeannie Henderson, owner of Jeannie Cleaning in Portage, Michigan, immediately saw the value these services provide. “As a business owner, it’s so important to give back and support the community we serve,” Henderson said. Over the last several years, Henderson realized it’s not just the community that values these services, but her team members as well. “People want their work to have meaning and to feel like they are a part of something bigger. They love that they can make people’s lives better, and it makes our work that much more rewarding.” Since 2018, Jeannie Cleaning has made a difference for 40 cancer patients in their community.

New protocols, same mission

As many states went into lockdown and families quarantined themselves, Cleaning for a Reason and its partners wanted to continue its mission during this unprecedented time. Cleaning for a Reason sought to provide its partners with the knowledge, tools, and resources to clean patient homes safely and effectively. Through a generous gift from Kimberly-Clark Professional, the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC), a division of ISSA, allowed Cleaning for a Reason partners and their employees to complete the GBAC Fundamentals Online Course at no cost.

Numerous cleaning partners enrolled in the GBAC Fundamentals Online Course. Having completed the course, Cleaning for a Reason’s partners can now distinguish themselves as GBAC-trained technicians. Daniel and her team have proudly served a number of cancer patients during the pandemic and have had zero cases of COVID-19 within Enjoy Life Cleaning Services LLC. “Taking the GBAC course was imperative,” said Daniel. “We wanted to still be able to provide our services when they’re needed most. This program was instrumental in ensuring we could continue to do what we love to do.”

The GBAC Fundamentals Online Course teaches cleaning professionals to prepare for, respond to, and recover from biohazards and infectious disease outbreak situations, such as the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). From the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) to understanding the types of chemicals to use to remove harmful pathogens, the course offers cleaning companies the necessary training to clean and disinfect for infectious diseases within a house, office, hotel, or commercial facility.

“We were shut down for six weeks, and I took that time to make sure that when we reopened, we were as prepared as we possibly could be,” said Henderson. “The GBAC course was a godsend. I was so grateful to have all these timely, thorough, and affordable resources for myself and my team. I can now communicate to my staff and our clients about how we’re doing everything correctly, ultimately helping build client confidence and making them feel secure.” Henderson also attributes the growth of her business over the last year to the education and support she received from ISSA and GBAC.

Although many cleaning companies have been in the business of cleaning for years, GBAC’s course offers the latest information on cleaning and disinfecting practices. “I’m always interested in learning more so we can be a better cleaning company. The timeliness and ease of the GBAC course were great,” said Winter. After completing the course, Winter and his team proudly display their certificates on their office walls. “It shows our clients we are serious about being the best of the best,” added Winter.

Lending a helping hand

While many people’s lives were put on hold throughout 2020, many continued to battle cancer without the added support of their local communities. Knowing how much of a difference a clean environment can make on a person’s physical and mental health, Cleaning for a Reason’s partners did everything they could to bring positivity and enthusiasm into patient’s homes. “Cleaning is a relief for these families. Especially right now, when everyone is stuck at home, it feels so good to have their homes cleaned,” said Henderson.

By offering a helping hand during one of the most trying times, Cleaning for a Reason’s mission became even more important over the last year. “Sometimes, it can be hard to ask for help,” Henderson continues. “I think the Cleaning for a Reason program is a great tool for everyone involved. It’s helping women, men, and children going through cancer treatment and their families, and is a positive experience for our team as well.”

To learn more about becoming a residential cleaning partner with Cleaning for a Reason, visit https://cleaningforareason.org/. And to learn more about the GBAC Fundamentals Online Course, visit https://gbac.org


About the Author.

Lucy Lee is the program manager for Cleaning for a Reason. She can be reached at 469-645-1101 or[email protected].