#2 of 25 UPLIFTING, QUIRKY THINGS THAT COULD ONLY HAPPEN IN AMERICA
2. … can cancer patients get help with housekeeping (Dallas, Texas)
Debbie Sardone, 55, remembers every second of the call. Eleven years ago, she answered the phone at her house-cleaning service. The woman on the other end asked for a price. When Sardone gave her the quote, the woman responded, “I can’t afford that now. I’m going through chemotherapy and radiation,” and promptly hung up. Sardone, who didn’t have caller ID, chastised herself: Why didn’t I offer to clean for free? Later that day, she gathered her office staff and instructed them to perform services without charge for women with cancer.
Three years later, Sardone formed the national nonprofit Cleaning for a Reason, which now boasts 1,085 member businesses in all 50 states (and Canada); together, they’ve donated more than 15,000 house cleanings. One partner describes the work as “vitamins for the soul.” “I never knew how good it would feel to give away for free what I do for a living,” says Sardone.