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Good Neighbor Spotlight: Los Gatos neighbor helps housekeeper in a bind build her business

Written by Nick Brinkerhoff

In honor of September being Good Neighbor Month, we will be showcasing incredible stories of how neighbors are using Nextdoor to go above and beyond in their local communities. Have a story of your own? Send us an email at stories@nextdoor.com.


Maria R., a housecleaner in the San Francisco Bay Area, was nine months pregnant when she showed up for a routine cleaning job at Nextdoor member Kendal G.’s house. This time was a bit different, however, as Maria showed up noticeably upset. Kendal was concerned, and asked her what was going on.

Maria shared that her employer (the housekeeping company) went back on their word about a promised maternity leave and other benefits, and the ability to return to work with the same crew of workers post-maternity leave. Maria already had her cesarean scheduled for the following week and was in a panic and had no idea what to do. To protest the company, Maria’s entire cleaning crew team resigned, but the company did not back down. Now, not just Maria, but her crew, was unemployed.

Kendal would not let this happen and knew she needed to help Maria and devised a plan with her. First, even with such short notice, Maria was able to get her own business license to start Super Girl Housekeeping. Although Kendal pledged to be her first client, that wouldn’t be enough to keep the business afloat. That’s when Kendal turned to Nextdoor.

Kendal published a passionate plea to her Los Gatos Nextdoor community to see if anyone needed a housekeeping service, and to consider hiring Maria if so.

Almost instantly, the responses came pouring in. Within a few days, Kendal had 120 replies and over 90 neighbors sign up for Maria’s services! Some neighbors didn’t need cleaning services, but offered to donate baby clothes and other items for Maria’s newborn. The response was so overwhelming, Maria didn’t know what to do. Luckily, her husband and crew were able to manage the new business for a bit while Maria had her procedure and spent time with her baby. Upon her return, Maria had not only a thriving business, but was able to employ her original cleaning crew.

Additionally, because of the clients Super Girl Housekeeping gained through Nextdoor, Maria was able to afford to bring her children to meet their grandparents in Nicaragua for the first time. Maria had not been able to go back home for ten years, so it was an incredible moment to have her family reunited.

Kendal shared with us, “Maria has become a close friend to me through this experience and we will both be forever grateful to the amazing community of neighbors we have on Nextdoor, who came together to help someone they did not know during an extremely scary and challenging time.”

 

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