The Rapidian

After 5x5 night: Steve Frazee ramps up "Cleaning with Kindness"

Steve Frazee, winner of the October 2011 seed money, says that “the 5x5 night award was critical. It has enabled us to engage professionals to launch an upcoming website which will be key to attracting ongoing support and sponsorship."
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Each month a former 5x5 night winner discusses life since their award.

Tammy Hassevort and Steve Frazee won the October 2011 5x5 night with the idea "Cleaning with Kindness."

In this interview, Frazee discussed what winning meant for the progress of this project.

5 people, 5 minutes, $5000. We hear a lot of reports about who has won 5x5 night each month, but what happens to those winners in the long term? Whose ideas are germinated by that cash injection and what triumphs or tribulations are faced in the wake of that initial publicity?

This month we spoke to Steve Frazee, a writer, speaker, executive consultant and interim CEO whose promotion of Tammy Hassevort’s idea "Cleaning with Kindness," a proposal overflowing with morality, aims to "ensure homes are sanctuaries during times of crisis." The literature handed out on the night of 5x5 stated that

"Cleaning with Kindness will provide free house cleanings to families that are dealing with traumatic situations like cancer. A clean and organized home is an oasis during times of trouble. But too often families dealing with trauma do not have the energy to keep their house neat and clean. Providing clean homes to people in crisis is a simple way to have an immediate positive impact on people’s lives here in West Michigan."

It was these words that helped Frazee to secure the entirety of the $5000 funding that was up for grabs at the October 2011 5x5 night.

Frazee says that “the 5x5 Night award was critical. It has enabled us to engage professionals to launch upcoming website which will be key to attracting ongoing support and sponsorship. The website will be our primary community engagement touchpoint because the office will not be staffed on a regular basis.” He continues that although they could have managed technically without the win, “it would have been much harder and would take more time. Many great people are offering to subsidize their normal pricing to help us get going, but we are glad we can pay them something for the work. I believe a good solution for launching 'good companies' is to ask partners and vendors to reduce their pricing to get it launched. Reduced pricing honors their talents without asking them to do the work for free.”

Frazee is optimistic about their progress since the win. “We are still finalizing the full plan, but yes, it is going well. Tammy [Hassevort}'s business gets very busy during the holidays so we really got going on Cleaning with Kindness last week now that the holidays are over. Our goal is to launch the website in March. [Hassevort] has started talks with organizations about our cleaning training and jobs program.” He added, “While we are starting slow and deliberately, I believe this will all come together nicely.”

Frazee’s website states, “Cleaning with Kindness has a goal of providing 10,000 cleanings each year for 2,500 suffering families.” Frazee still believes that these are realistic statistics. “Our strategy is to be fully operational by October of this year. I do believe 10,000 cleanings is a reasonable goal for calendar year 2013. We need to ramp to that and work the kinks out of the system, but once we get the system fully in place and operational, I believe the scale of 10,000 cleanings a year is fully achievable. It remains our goal.”

So what does 2012 hold for the Cleaning with Kindness crew? Frazee says that this year is their “building year.”

“It is the year we go from idea to operating organization. My hope is that we easily attract sponsors that see the elegance of the system we are building and how the simple act of house cleaning can improve the lives of people dealing with the crisis of cancer. My personal hope is [Hassevort] feels like she has the platform to live her purpose in the world, which is to ease people's suffering. I think she will.”

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