January 13, 2009 // Franchising.com // Ann Arbor, MI – Molly Maid franchise owners nationwide raised a record $127,500 this past year to support the Ms. Molly Foundation, the company's non-profit arm that raises funds for domestic violence shelters and safe houses around the country, along with providing refuge and personal items to victims of the nation's most under-reported crime.
The 2008 Ms. Molly Foundation fundraising total represents a 30 percent increase over last year. Since its inception in 1996, the Ms. Molly Foundation has raised more than $725,000 and has supported nearly 100 domestic violence shelters. When seeking a cause to support system-wide, Molly Maid franchise owners overwhelmingly chose to help raise awareness and benefit local victims of domestic violence after noticing the prevalence of the crime among employees within their own franchises.
"Even in difficult economic times, it's comforting to know that people still make it a priority to give back to causes they believe strongly in," said Ms. Molly Foundation co-chair Danessa Itaya. "Last year we set a goal to significantly increase franchise owner participation in Ms. Molly, and we were pleased to see how many stepped up to the plate and held fundraisers in their communities."
Molly Maid has set a goal to raise even more in 2009 and increase participation in Ms. Molly system-wide, eventually getting all 400+ franchise owners nationwide to join the effort. Also in the coming year, the franchise company plans to leverage its reach in more than 17 million homes with a campaign that aims to prevent potential abuse situations through education.
Each October during National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Molly Maid franchise owners donate a portion of the service fees from every home cleaned to shelters and safe houses. For the past two years, franchise owners around the country extended their efforts beyond October, such as holding silent auctions, adopting local shelters and organizing charity races. Examples include a 5K fundraising event held in November 2008 in Maumelle, Ark. attracted 165 participants, raising about $3,000 for local shelters. The company's Home Office raffled off items during a live auction netting $14,000 for two southeastern Michigan shelters.
"Our franchise owners are incredible people, and they inspire us at the home office every day with their generosity and dedication to Ms. Molly," Itaya said. "They feel that as business owners, they have a tremendous amount of responsibility to give back to their communities, and they appreciate the Ms. Molly Foundation as a vehicle to stand behind a common company cause."
Molly Maid, based in Ann Arbor, MI, is one of three service companies under Service Brands International. The residential cleaning franchise, ranked number one in the United States, was founded in 1979. Currently, more than 412 Molly Maid franchise owners operate in the United States alone, with nearly 300 more throughout Canada, Japan, England, Portugal and Bermuda. Molly Maid has been the recipient of numerous awards for entrepreneurialism, software innovation and humanitarian causes, including the Ms. Molly Foundation, which collects money and goods for safe houses and shelters for victims of domestic violence. The Molly Maid concept is recognized as one of America's most trusted names in home service. Entrepreneur magazine ranked Molly Maid in its top 100 franchises for the past 10 years, and Good Housekeeping rated the franchise as the "Best Value" among cleaning services.