SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Twenty-one years ago, Mike and Charmon Henderson realized they had to change.
“We were raising six kids, were short on money and realized we had to do something to make money,” Mike said.
They decided to clean the houses. Their office was their Toyota.
“We started doing houses one at a time and over the years that expanded to what it is today. We currently serve over 120 clients and our goal is to continue to grow that number and hire 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,” Mike said.
Sheryl Atkinson has been using Happy House Cleaning for a few years since she was diagnosed.
After being diagnosed with multiple myeloma, the treatments started to take their toll and she was no longer able to do all the things she was able to do before, such as cleaning her house.
“I’m just tired and my back hurts because I have several collapsed vertebrae in my back and it makes it hard to do things and I can’t lift heavy things,” Atkinson said.
That’s where the Hendersons come in.
“We come in and clean up, about five hours of services,” Charmon said.
The service is free for cancer patients.
Patients across the country can connect with local cleaning services through a charity called Cleaning for a Reason.
“We have over 1,200 cleaning services across the United States and Canada, giving back to their community by serving families battling cancer with the gift of free cleaning. There are no strings attached,” said Debbie Sardone, founder of Cleaning for a Reason.
The idea came about after a woman called her cleaning company but couldn’t afford it while undergoing chemotherapy.
“Well, I was in business mode and I wasn’t thinking and we hung up and that was before the days of caller ID. And I sat there at my desk and wondered why I hadn’t thought of offering him the cleaning for free,” Sardone said.
Cleaning for a Reason was born out of this missed opportunity. Since then, Sardone claims to have served more than 43,000 patients, representing approximately $14 million in services donated.
“It really does something for your emotional health to make you feel like I’m not a victim, I’m in control and my house is clean today,” Sardone said.
“When I found out I didn’t have the energy or the strength to keep up, even though it was important to me,” Atkinson said, “we settled with Happy House Cleaning.”
Now Happy House Cleaning takes care of keeping things clean and tidy, so Atkinson can focus on what’s important to her.
“My family, my kids, my grandkids are huge, huge elements in keeping me positive and moving me forward,” Atkinson said.