What are we Doing?
The Cleaning Profession is often a profession most marginalized.
The first step to building a healthier outlook of our profession is recognizing that there is stigma on cleaning & we know that we have already begun to defeat it by speaking out about these realities.We are bringing cleaners together - inspiring, sharing, educating and supporting one another. Together, we are promoting our industry as the skilled and vital profession that it is. We are raising awareness, recognition, & respect for house cleaners around the world. We are effectively changing the way both we & the public understand professional cleaning.
In today’s progressive society, where there is so much emphasis on equality, it is amazing to experience how narrow minded and uninformed we can be about certain aspects of our lives that are often vital to our everyday existence.
How are we Doing it?
All challenges have the potential to make us stronger, right? While acknowledging these stigmas, and false beliefs we have strategically designed and implemented 5 Projects of execution that are effectively addressing these issues and achieving the goals of our Mission- Increasing the Respect and Awareness of the Cleaning Profession.
Project Handmaid Family is all about supporting the facebook group, the Handmaid Cleaning Community, as the AHCA has been reaching out to cleaners from all over the world and for the first time given them a place to connect, collaborate, educate and inspire one another. The AHCA's Expert Marketing team is not only award winning but continues to be recognized by Facebook itself for their effective and powerful approach, utilizing cutting edge marketing tactics. The AHCA's Project Heart is combining the two most unrecognized facets of this profession, Skill and Need, by educating and inspiring the public as well as other cleaning service owners, sponsoring businesses and individuals to be recognized for gifting their services to those in need, as Servant's Heart Companions, while acknowledging cleaning is a need and while also recognizing members for their exceptional skill, integrity and professionalism as Not Just a Cleaning Lady Project members. Project Cleaning Advocates, is our project in constant development, always seeking what is best for this industry allowing for new and better structures of business tools, programs, educational methods, and other resources to those who work in this trade.
Despite the pushback, we are calling out the aspects of these stigmas that continues to run deep in all of us. A stigma that labels people as "unskilled" or "unimportant" by the very necessary trade & service they provide in our society. This is what this stigma promotes, forgetting the skill and integrity of who we are and what we do. This stigma can be traced back generations: from our mother's work, to Irish indentured servants and African slaves, and before the stories of servants could be remembered today.
This new generation is truly beginning to understand that these stigmas were and still are false.
The Profession of Cleaning is a skilled trade. The Profession of Cleaning is a necessary trade. Professional cleaning is a healing and therapeutic trade, changing lives every single day.
As the industry continues to evolve and grow we are excited to be coming together everyday bringing one another a sense of family, as a safe place to turn, sharing support, education and inspiration with one another. We are excited to be paving the way for the bright future of the cleaning industry Today!
ORIGINS OF THIS MOVEMENT IS FROM OUR HEARTS
"When I first started cleaning homes and businesses for a living I was discouraged by the lack of respect afforded to my new venture in the capacity of the skills involved in the actual work I was doing. The “kudos” I received even from family and close friends was almost always focused on my success as a “business owner” alone. To me, it has ALWAYS been about the nature of the work we do as Cleaners first. We provide people with a home that is peaceful again, restoring the environment and sanctuary of marriages and families, businesses and church halls. The skill necessary to provide services with careful attention, dealing with literally hundreds of different surfaces and utilizing our knowledge, often necessary for momentary innovation, to make our services what they are, is by far still the most important aspect of owning a cleaning service. It’s what makes a house cleaner more than just a “cleaning lady."~ Grace Reynolds, Co-Founder and President of the AHCA
STIGMAS DEEPLY ROOTED IN SEXISM
“It seems very clear to me that the marginalization of house cleaners starts with the continued disrespect and marginalization of women as a whole. When I helped my wife, Grace, move from Pittsburgh, PA to Walla Walla, WA and get her cleaning service going, I was amazed by the amount of rejection we experienced in regards to her already established rates in Pittsburgh. People laughed at us most of the time at first and we had to work for often times half of minimum wage, in order to get our “foot in the door”.
I also noticed a stigma to the fact that I was doing the “cleaning”with Grace and later on working with technicians. Even close friends would poke-fun and ridicule my decision to be such an intimate part of the work she did and/or tell me how “humble” it was for me to “take on” this position with the “credentials” I have. This got me thinking... 🤔 If I’m ridiculed and labeled “humbled”, where is this attitude with my amazing wife? Where is their mention of her “humility” or her “credentials”?
Sheryl quickly gained respect from Kevin and Grace, as they recognized her innovation, independence, and unique ability to implement effective leadership within their local team, by adapting to each unique circumstance, finding ways to address difficulties and conflicts with both humility and love.
Kevin brought the leadership, marketing and advertising skills necessary to effectively spread the mission his wife held dear to her heart. His love for this mission and movement developed over time, by his devotion and desire to make Grace's dreams come true.
Grace started Handmaid Cleaning as a Mission almost ten years ago. In Grace's earliest stages in life, she found cleaning to be a therapeutic outlet, providing a concrete atmosphere of peace, in the midst of the abusive home were she was raised. She knows so many others can relate to this and wants to inspire deeper appreciation of this trade.
Committed to providing for the ongoing success and implementation of technical strategies for the ongoing structure and development of our mission. making possible the development of informational materials and tools allowing comprehensive methods and materials to be more accessible for our industry's growth and ongoing evolution!
Are you doing Charity Cleanings?
Project Servant's Heart gives generous cleaning businesses an opportunity to gain greater recognition for their charity cleanings in their area, both locally and nationally. This mission is bringing a deeper respect and awareness for what we all do and how necessary our services truly are in our local communities.
Who is the AHCA Leadership Team?
Our Team is bringing all cleaners together, because we know that coming together is vital to this mission. We are your fellow entrepreneurs and leaders in this industry, but first your fellow cleaners. Visit our Board Here. Learn more about us, where we are on our journey and how it has collided with your own.