Charity delighted at free-cleaning offer

CrestClean’s Jan Lichtwark presents a vacuum cleaner to Robyn Walker at Homes of Hope.
CrestClean’s Jan Lichtwark presents a vacuum cleaner to Robyn Walker at Homes of Hope.

When Tauranga’s Regional Manager was contacted by a local charity his subsequent visit to quote for the job had a totally unexpected outcome for everyone.

After hearing how Homes of Hope offers a lifeline to children who have suffered abuse or trauma, Jan Lichtwark knew straight away he wanted to do something to help.

Jan, who has young children himself, offered to waive the costs of cleaning the organisation’s homes and office building and he has also donated a commercial-grade vacuum cleaner to staff.

Now CrestClean personnel will take care of the main cleaning duties on an ongoing arrangement at no cost to the charitable trust.

The move has been welcomed by Homes of Hope managers who have been “absolutely blown away” by the offer.

Homes of Hope is a Tauranga-based charity that provides safe, loving homes where brothers and sisters who’ve suffered abuse or neglect can stay together.

“When I went to do a quote I didn’t know anything about the organisation,” says Jan.

“They rely on government funding and it was obvious that things are really quite tight. When I heard the work they do here, and the difference they make to young lives, I knew we could help out.

“As a dad it really tugged on the heartstrings to hear stories about the suffering these kids had endured.

“For us to take care of the cleaning free of charge is a small gesture – but it will make a big difference to the children and the people who work here who are dedicated to giving the these kids the help they deserve.”

Robyn Walker, Homes of Hope office administrator, said the cleaning had previously been done by a caregiver.

“From last September we haven’t had anybody. We’ve just all tried to pitch in and do it. It’s not been successful because we’ve all got other roles that we need to do.”

Robyn said money was tight and every cent counted as funding to run the organisation came from trust funding and donations.

“This has saved us a huge amount. To have the house, kitchens and bathrooms cleaned is a big saving for us.”

She learned of Crest’s offer of free cleaning in an email from Jan. “We were all just absolutely blown away. When I read it, it was like ‘are you kidding me, someone is going to do this for free’.”

The new vacuum would make a big difference, Robyn added.

“Our existing vacuum wouldn’t cut the mustard in a seven bedroom house. It is a domestic vacuum and is really not suitable for vacuuming twice a day in a big house.”

Hilary Price, Homes of Hope CEO, said community help played a large part in the charity’s success. “We are incredibly grateful and very encouraged and really appreciate the support from CrestClean.

“There’s a lot to be done running a busy household and the more support we can give at the rock face the better the outcome is for the children.”

Hilary said the kids staying at Homes of Hope come from difficult and challenging backgrounds.

“The reason they are not able to be at home is because they have experienced trauma and or neglect.”

Homes of Hope was founded in 2002. Since then the trust has cared for more than 200 children in Tauranga. The trust’s homes are always full and there is always an urgent need for more supporters to meet the growing need.

“The mighty dollar definitely goes a long way for us to meet our costs so that we can help more kids. No contribution is too small,” added Hilary.

You can find out more about Homes of Hope at:

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