Need a third hand? Minute Women to the rescue

Meghan B. Kelly

When both spouses work, it’s easy to push off doing the laundry or running the dishwasher. Add kids, pets and elderly relatives into the mix, and it just gets harder for families to keep up.

And for 40 years, the Minute Women of Lexington have been around to help. The agency does it all — childcare, cleaning and eldercare services.

“We do anything needed to help a household run cleanly and smoothly,” said Director Mary Ann Stockler. The agency can also help with pet care and help with dinner parties.

“It’s a huge advantage for me in terms of time saving,” said Concord resident Sarah Lazarus, who uses Minute Women for babysitting her two children, ages 9 and 11.

Lazarus and her husband both work full time and he travels about 80 percent of the time, she said. When she has to work late or has evening activities during the week or on weekends, Minute Women always provides a reliable, trustworthy babysitter.

“The folks that they send tend to be older and responsible” and have better availability than a neighborhood teen, said Lazarus.

Janice Cushing has used the agency for the last 15 years to help clean her Lexington home. With two children and a full-time job, keeping up with the cleaning when her children were small was difficult, she said.

But the service is worth it, she said, and is always friendly and reliable.

“It’s been wonderful; they’ve been a great agency to work with,” she said. She’s had the same cleaning person for the last seven or eight years, who has come to be almost like family.

“Even though it’s a company, it’s more like a family-run business,” she said.

Founder Carol Cucci said the agency has long filled a need for families in the so-called “Minutemen” towns of Concord, Lexington and Bedford. She first founded Minute Women in 1969, when she saw many women in the area who wanted to go back to work, but were hampered because of the lack of daycare.

The agency started off as a babysitting group and grew in the 1970s and 1980s to include cleaning and eldercare.