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eClean Issue 44

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Imagine going to a grocery store, but there are no groceries because the store has been without power for days and all the food has spoiled. There's no going to McDonalds to grab a burger because they not only have no power, there are several feet of water surrounding the building. These are the realities of disaster areas. This was the reality of Hurricane Matthew. And it's a reality that has changed my life forever. My Passion Long before starting my cleaning business a few years ago, I had another passion – food. At a young age, I started working in the kitchen for various small restaurants, then eventually working as a Sous Chef at a Hilton Garden Inn hotel. In fact, I actually started my pressure washing business as a way to fund my culinary education. I eventually graduated with a dual major, got married, and became the executive chef of the Hilton brand hotel where I had been working – all while trying to grow my cleaning business on the side. As hard as I had worked to become an executive chef, it was a demanding job without much flexibility. So I made one of the toughest decisions of my life and turned in my resignation – giving up a great salary and benefits – to go back to being a line cook a couple of nights, all so that I could instead work on becoming completely self-employed. I then spent some extra time working with and for my friend, Tim Fields of Complete Power Wash, to get better at my actual power washing skills and processes. However, despite the extra freedom and flexibility of time that came from owning my own business, I still had a longing to fill. I deeply wanted to serve others. Mercy Chefs I first learned about Mercy Chefs several years ago, but only recently had the time to volunteer with them. Mercy Chefs is a non-profit, faith- based ministry that provides restaurant- quality meals prepared by volunteers and professional chefs to law enforcement, first responders, volunteers and victims in disaster areas. They typically are the first to show up – long before other major relief efforts. So far this year, the organization has responded to almost a dozen disaster locations including the floods in Baton by Dustin Force, Extra Mile Power Washing, LLC A ReNEWed Calling 29 eClean Magazine Photo by Micah Lindstrom

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