On May 9, the Southeastern Wisconsin Sanitary Supply Association (SEWSSA) reached out to a facility in need by doing what the association’s members do best: cleaning.

For the 12th time as an organization, SEWSSA conducted Operation Clean Sweep. More than 50 volunteers representing seven local companies cleaned the interior and exterior of The Guest House, a Milwaukee residential facility that helps homeless men find jobs and housing.

“We participate in Operation Clean Sweep for two reasons,” says Ron Mirenda, SEWSSA secretary/treasurer. “First, it helps people who are much less fortunate than us with jobs and healthy minds, and shows them that someone cares about their lives. And second, it helps instill in our employees the blessings of giving to those in need.”

By the end of the morning, the overall general appearance inside and outside the facility was dramatically improved. It was clear that this year’s event was a success.

“We received positive comments from the Guest House management and staff and even those in the rehab program were enthusiastic about our efforts,” says Gene Melzer, one of the SEWSSA founding members.

Guest House staff and residents were very appreciative of the work. Residents were so excited to have a clean facility that many had trouble sleeping the night before.

SEWSSA also purchased mulch, tables and other items to help create a better living experience for residents while staying at the facility. Many manufacturers also donated chemicals, towels, waste receptacles and other cleaning supplies to the shelter.

“Every year we get strong support from the manufacturers within our industry,” says Melzer. “Their product donations show their support for this cause.”

SEWSSA was established in 1995. Members include principals of janitorial supply and manufacturing firms located throughout Southeast Wisconsin. SEWSSA is a regional chapter of the ISSA.

Operation Clean Sweep was started by the New Jersey Sanitary Supply Association in 1993 as a way for the cleaning industry to help enhance the quality of life in the local community.