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On the house: 'Cleaning for a reason' serves cancer patients

Tracy McGarry (middle) had her home cleaned for free by Christine Groehler, Allison Bahneman and Sam Opatz through the Cleaning for a Reason program. Sparkle Plenty Cleaners owner Lynn Thoele is on the far right. Photo courtesy of Lynn Thoele

When Lynn Thoele saw Cleaning for a Reason at a conference last month, she knew she was in.

Thoele, Sparkle Plenty Professional Cleaners owner, said she signed up immediately to be part of the program that connects people undergoing cancer treatments to businesses that will clean their house for free.

"I loved the idea of volunteering, so this to me was something that was just a perfect fit," she said. "I could do it through my business, and expose my cleaners to something (new)."

Not long after enrolling, Thoele sent Christine Groehler, Allison Bahneman and Sam Opatz to their first free clean for Tracy McGarry.

"When I first got diagnosed, I thought nobody's going to be there to help me," McGarry said. "And the outpouring I got was just amazing, and these people that came were really excited."

McGarry has back fractures due to her cancer, making it impossible for her to clean her home.

"That's a big pain point in my house, so it was great that they did that," she said.

The three-person cleaning pack stayed in her home for about three hours, and will return next month for McGarry's second round.

"House cleaning doesn't change their diagnosis, but it's something really tangible that we can do," Thoele said.

Cleaning for a Reason has around 1,200 maid services currently enrolled in the program, but Sparkle Plenty is the first in the east metro area.

"I'm sure there's a lot of people that could use (this)," McGarry said.

Thoele said they will do two free home cleanings for each patient, and try to do at least two Woodbury patients a month.

They are currently working on scheduling cleanings for a second patient, with many more to come.

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