For Port Richmond’s Raylene Arko, cleaning has deep meaning, especially when it comes to cleaning for female cancer patients.
Arko, founder and owner of Keep it Clean With Raylene, 2972 Richmond St., has been in business for 18 years, but began working with Cleaning for a Reason seven years ago.
The service arranges free housecleaning services for those women affected by cancer.
Working with cancer patients, Arko said, has a special place in her heart. Her father passed away from cancer, and her mother is a cancer survivor.
Arko, a lifelong Port Richmond resident, once worked in real estate while also cleaning houses on the side. The house cleaning began to really take off, which is when she decided to get into business on her own.
Her staff comprises 13 ladies, as well as a male driver. She prides herself, she said, on the customer service standard she upholds.
She also says her staff is the absolute best.
Arko is glad, she said, to be working to help ladies going through cancer treatment. They make great clients.
“It’s great to see how happy women are after you clean. They’re so appreciative,” she said. “It takes the burden off their shoulders. They’re not happy unless their house is clean.”
One women, Arko said, stuck with her — she cleaned the home of a woman going though cancer who was 33, only a few years younger than Arko was.
“I felt like I could relate to what she was going through,” Arko said.
Right now, Arko said she’s having a hard time connecting with local ladies in regard to the free cleaning service. She spoke last week at a meeting of the Ladies of Port Richmond, an organization that works toward breast cancer fundraising and research opportunities.
When ladies reach out to Cleaning for a Reason, they will receive one housecleaning a month for four months.
“It’s just one less thing,” she said of having a clean home. “They can concentrate on getting better.”
Cleaning for a Reason began when president and founder Debbie Sardone of Lewisville, TX., took a phone call from a prospective client of her cleaning service. The woman told her she wouldn’t be able to pay for the cleaning because she was undergoing cancer treatments.
From then on, Sardone decided that no woman undergoing cancer treatment would ever be turned down by her businesses. Since 2006, Cleaning for A Reason has donated more than $3 million in housecleaning services from more than 1,000 maid service partners.
When a woman reaches out to the organization, it matches her to a maid service in her area.
Arko said she’s just worried that women don’t know about the service, even though it’s so worthwhile.
“We want to service patients locally,” she said. “Port Richmond is a close-knit community, everyone has each other’s backs. We want to do our best for them.”
To apply for free cleaning services if you are going through treatment, visit http://www.cleaningforareason.org/patients.
To contact Arko’s service, visit http://www.keepitcleanwithraylene.com/ or call 215-203-8688. ••