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The mission of Blissful Bedrooms is to transform the bedrooms of young individuals challenged with a variety of disabilities, as well as economic and family challenges, into sanctuaries so that they can feel peaceful and happy in the very place where they spend so much of their daily life due to their lack of mobility and opportunities in society. The goal for each bedroom makeover is to artistically design a unique environment created specifically for the individual, incorporating his/her passions, dreams, fantasies, favorite colors, and creative input. A place where he/she can dream, feel inspired, appreciated and loved.
Blissful Bedrooms was founded in 2009 by Martha and Alex Gold-Dvoryadkin. Martha and Alex decided to paint the room of one of Martha?s former physical therapy/yoga students, Tamisha ("Butterfly"). Tamisha is profoundly disabled, has fixed contractures of her extremities, and basically can only move her head. She is unable to sit upright, change her position independently and is non-verbal with the exception of some basic sounds. Despite all of her physical limitations, she is witty, present and has a wonderful sense of humor. She is also a great judge of character. Therefore, when Martha introduced Alex to Tamisha for the very first time and got her enthusiastic approval, she knew she had a keeper. Martha and Tamisha have a very special heart connection. One day while Martha and Alex were talking about what they could do to bring Tamisha some happiness, they came up with the idea of transforming her bedroom. Together they spent a weekend painting her room, hanging butterflies, and applying rainbows (see pictures). At the completion, they carried Tamisha into the room (she was kept out the entire time) and Tamisha let out the loudest "WOW!!" you ever heard followed by screams of excitement. At that moment, a most unexpected thing happened, Martha and Alex?s hearts flooded with joy and happiness and their physical exhaustion seemed to disappear instantly. As they left Tamisha?s home that evening, they felt an indescribable feeling of fulfillment and they knew that they wanted to feel this again and again. As they talked more about it the following days, they thought it was not only a fantastic opportunity for the children and young adults with disabilities who will be the recipients, but also for people, just like them, who were searching for meaning and purpose in their lives and who wanted to make a tangible difference in their community and the lives of others. Martha and Alex quickly identified the recipient of the next makeover ? Angel, a former yoga student of Martha?s from her District 75 school, who had graduated from the school the previous year. They put an ad on Craig?s List describing their mission, along with pictures of Tamisha?s bedroom and asked for volunteers to help. Many wonderful people of all ages and backgrounds answered that ad with positive encouragement for their mission and with offers to help with the actual renovations and continue to do so. In fact, Blissful Bedrooms Core Team is composed of some very special individuals who answered that ad early on, took part in Angel?s bedroom makeover and have committed themselves to the long-term success of Blissful Bedrooms. They experienced that same sense of fulfillment at the completion of Angel?s makeover as Martha and Alex did the first time. In fact, this time the feeling was even more amplified as the group involved was larger and the energy bigger. As a legitimate 501(c)3 non-profit organization, we are constantly seeking corporate sponsors for materials, as well as grants and funding opportunities. We estimate the cost of each room to be approximately $5,000. Each time we gather enough funds to transform a room, we will go ahead and do it. With a population of 600+ students in the school that Martha works at in the South Bronx, in addition to the thousands of other children in District 75 schools around the city, we do not anticipate running out of candidates any time soon. We also need skilled volunteers to help with the actual work.
- joyce cobb
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