A Cleaning Brigade of Strong Moms

“What do you need done today?” The team of moms awaited an answer, cleaning supplies and energy in hand.

“Well, I haven’t moved my refrigerator in a long time. . . the space probably needs cleaned,” came the response. No further discussion was necessary, the women just got to work.

Back2Back staff Lili and Rosario recently recognized deep-cleaning was needed at the Strong Family homes. They began trying to figure out how to help. Together, they challenged the group of moms to start a cleaning brigade to help each other.

“We noticed the home organization and hygiene was becoming a major issue within the Tres Reyes community,” they shared. A skills workshop one Saturday allowed staff to present an idea for a cleaning brigade. They decided as a group which houses needed help first, and over the next four weeks, small groups of moms went from house to house, helping their neighbors accomplish tasks that felt like too much.

“In some instances, it was cleaning specific rooms, but in others, large projects were able to be tackled,” shared Matt Cooper, Back2Back staff. “They moved refrigerators and stoves and cleaned behind them, they moved large rocks as a group, and all the while, they were forging deeper connection and building friendship.”

The women gathered each week, showed up at different homes, and asked one question before setting about making differences in each other’s lives. “What do you need done?” Each woman learned just what can happen when we begin with a question. The group of women now clean the community center each Saturday, often involving their children and teens. “It’s exciting to see how one idea can grow so quickly and accomplish so much,” said Ximena Zarate, Community Center of Tres Reyes Program Manager.

The group of Strong Family moms are pursuing further connection and community with each other through prayer. In November of 2017, Matt Cooper challenged Cancun staff to consider where they could pray more throughout their day and within their departments.

“Ximena challenged her team at the community center to begin each morning praying together,” shared Matt. One of the case workers took the idea to the families in the community, encouraging them to pray as a group with the other moms. Each night, at 8 o’clock, the moms gather together for a time of prayer.

Whether it’s cleaning homes and moving rocks, or collectively coming together to pray, the women in the Tres Reyes community are experiencing the benefits of living, and growing, together.