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Staying Healthy: A boost for cancer patients

Two Maids & a Mop provides free house cleanings

Housework is always there to tackle, but when fighting cancer it can be overwhelming.

To this end, Cleaning for a Reason, an international nonprofit group, was formed to partner with cleaning companies to provide free services for patients.

Two Maids & a Mop of Livermore joined the efforts in October, to help out families in Pleasanton, Livermore, Dublin, San Ramon, Danville, Blackhawk, Diablo, Walnut Creek, Lafayette, Moraga, Clayton and Castro Valley.

"Ohmygosh! My home was not this clean when I moved in," one client wrote in an online review. "I just finished chemo and am going in for surgery tomorrow and you have no idea how much more comfortable I am in my newly cleaned home. Thank you!"

The cleaning service provides free cleaning to two homes per month for two consecutive months.

"We want to give the gift of time by eliminating the many hours that it takes to clean a home," said Two Maids manager Brad Taylor. "When I learned about Cleaning for a Reason, it hit a personal note. I lost my mother to cancer and saw her challenges going through treatments."

First the patient checks with Cleaning for a Reason about an opening in her region. Then she has her doctor fax in a note stating that she is undergoing cancer treatment, and a cleaning service contacts her to schedule her two house cleanings.

Taylor, an IBM executive for many years, decided to use his team-building skills with Two Maids & a Mop, a franchise that has long been a supporter of Cleaning for a Reason. After opening in Livermore in September, he quickly signed up with Cleaning for a Reason.

"We get rave reviews," he said. "They are grateful and appreciative."

Taylor said the free cleanings also go well with his team building efforts.

"They love it; they feel so much in the way of giving back," he said. "That is the type of person we are trying to attract -- givers, who feel the warmth. When we get feedback from the help they've provided to the women and their families, they are very excited."

He takes pride in developing a family feel and atmosphere in the company, with morning meetings to talk about improving as a team. Four times a year, they do something fun to build camaraderie. And as the company takes on more employees, Taylor is hoping to help more cancer patients.

"My long-term goal, as we grow, is to be able to financially support 20 families," Taylor said. "It's sad -- I see a lot of need out there."

Cleaning for a Reason, based in Lewisville, Texas, was started in May 2006 and now works with more than 1,200 professional cleaning companies. To apply for free house cleaning, visit www.cleaningforareason.org.

"Knowing that patients fighting cancer need help, I am proud to support this cause and offer house cleanings to help these women, who are in the battle of their life," Taylor said.

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