Blissful Bedrooms
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OUR MISSION

1) To transform the personal spaces of young individuals who have very limited resources, and severe physical disabilities that make them wheelchair dependent, and highly reliant on others for activities of daily living. Because of their lack of mobility/independence and decreased opportunities in society, these young individuals with physical challenges spend a great amount of time in their bedrooms.

2) To welcome young individuals with a variety of disabilities into a caring community, including past bedroom makeover recipients, as well as those who are not necessarily wheelchair-dependent and a candidate for a bedroom makeover, such as young people with autism, Down’s Syndrome, mental retardation and other disability classifications. We nurture our special family by creating regular social events for them to GET OUT OF THEIR BEDROOMS, so they can interact with their peers, develop and maintain friendships, have fun, and experience the world just like other young people their age do.

Please download the Blissful Bedrooms postcard at the link below below (Adobe PDF), and help us spread the word! The more people who know about our mission and are inspired to help, the greater the impact of our organization can be!

Click here to download the Blissful Bedrooms postcard

HISTORY

Blissful Bedrooms was founded in 2009 by Martha and Alex Gold-Dvoryadkin. Martha and Alex decided to paint the bedroom 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 share a very special heart connection. Read more…

WHO WE ARE

Blissful Bedrooms is a 501(c)3, charitable, not-for-profit organization, composed entirely of VOLUNTEERS. We are dedicated to empowering, supporting, and enhancing the quality of life of young individuals with disabilities, BOTH INSIDE AND OUTSIDE OF THEIR BEDROOMS.

Blissful Bedrooms volunteers are a group of socially conscious and compassionate human beings from diverse backgrounds. We yearn to contribute our energy and talents to do meaningful volunteer work, in order to give back to our community, help others in need, and actively express our gratitude for all the blessings we enjoy in our own lives

CORE TEAM

Martha Gold-Dvoryadkin
Executive Director & Co-Founder
Designer, Project Planner, Recipient/Volunteer Coordinator, Dedicated Volunteer

Martha has been working as a Senior Physical Therapist since 2002 in a New York City District 75 public school for children with multiple handicaps. The students are challenged with a wide range of disabilities including cerebral palsy, Down’s Syndrome, spina bifida, mental retardation, autism, and other neurological impairments and they range in age from 9-21. Read more…

Alexey Dvoryadkin
Vice President & Co-Founder
Designer, Photographer, Graphic Design Artist, Dedicated Volunteer

Alex relocated to New York City from Sibera, Russia in 2005. While in Russia he studied and became certified in various healing/massage therapy modalities and worked as a massage therapist in a family run health spa. Read more…

Adam Seim
Project Manager, Master Carpenter, Dedicated Volunteer

Adam’s father’s side of the family has been in woodworking and construction for generations, so growing up, he was always around wood and carpentry tools, as well as plenty of master carpenters. His woodshop teacher in high school was an Amish carpenter and Adam took his class all 4 years. Read more…

Sarah Seim
Project Coodinator, Administrative Assistant, Dedicated Volunteer

Vanessa von Hessert
Room Designer, Furniture Maker, Outreach Coordinator, Dedicated Volunteer

Vanessa von Hessert is a woodworker, a mother and an aspiring documentary filmmaker. She enjoys using her woodworking and fabrication skills to execute detailed and unique designs for Blissful Bedrooms, such as the WWE headboard for Alberto and the wall-hung motorcycle for Juan. Read more…

WHAT WE DO

Blissful Bedrooms is an integral branch of Passion for Compassion, Inc., a 501(c)3 not-for-profit corporation. Starting with it’s Founders, Blissful Bedrooms is composed entirely of volunteers, who unite together to become “Compassion in Action,” with the shared intention to brighten the everyday lives of young individuals with severe disabilities.

We create a personal sanctuary, conceived exclusively for the individual – a safe haven where they will feel inspired, protected, stimulated, valued, appreciated and LOVED! This is achieved by a collaboration of talented and motivated volunteers from the community who yearn to make a difference in the world through their selfless actions. We creatively design and construct a unique environment that is born out of the recipient’s passions, dreams, fantasies and favorite colors. We build custom-made furniture/accessories and create original art work for each bedroom. We also strive to provide the individual with adapted technology, in order to promote their entrance and independence into a vast word of communication and knowledge.

HOW WE DO IT

Our goal is to do one bedroom makeover per month. Of course, that all depends on the availability of funds and resources, which unfortunately has been our limiting factor. Weeks before a makeover, the Core Team meets with the recipient and his/her family in their home, and discusses a color scheme and main theme for the room. In the past, themes have ranged from rainbows and butterflies, to martial arts and bodybuilding, to angels and oceans, to the Yankees, to Hello Kitty, to fairy kingdoms, etc. We make every effort to bring the individual’s fantasy room alive including all of his/her favorite elements! At that time, we also take a video of the recipient in his/her bedroom, which we use to introduce Blissful Bedrooms volunteers to the young person and for fundraising purposes. Finally, we take photographs and measurements of the bedroom, and create a 3-D computerized graphic of the empty room right then and there in SketchUp, which we later use to create a collaborative design and plan for the bedroom makeover.

Once the recipient’s dream bedroom theme is decided upon, and a makeover date is established, Blissful Bedrooms Core Team members come up with a basic design and recruit committed volunteers for the project. We then arrange a team meeting, during which time we show a Powerpoint presentation regarding various aspects of the makeover (i.e., fundraising, background on the recipient, inspiration board with ideas for the design, etc.). Then we get down to the fun part of sharing ideas as one large group, and refining the design of the bedroom, while simultaneously altering the 3-D image of the bedroom, which is projected on a large screen or TV. This includes conceiving of ideas, based on the theme, for art work, custom built furniture/components, bedding, accessories, arrangement of furniture, etc. After this, the volunteers break into task forces (or focused teams), hone their design ideas, create a project plan and delegate pre-production responsibilities. Before the actual makeover weekend even arrives, several of the team members spend many hours doing preparation work (i.e., fundraising, researching, shopping and purchasing materials for the makeover, building furniture, creating art work and special components, etc).

Finally, we get in there and get our hands dirty! The makeover begins on Friday morning with the foundation work and spans the entire weekend until the room is revealed on Sunday evening. The process looks something like this: Read more…

WHY WE DO IT

We all know the impact our home environment has on the way we feel. In addition, color has a great effect on our moods and well-being. Because these young individuals spend much more time in their bedrooms than the average person, we believe it is very important that their environment is visually stimulating, reflects their personality and passions, and is a respite where they can feel content and at peace. We are very honored to have volunteer support from the art community. Talented artists have committed to painting murals for each room that are inspired by, and created specifically for, the recipient of the makeover. These murals will serve as the young individuals’ companion and friend for many years to come, and truly make each Blissful Bedrooms makeover incredibly special and unique. Interestingly, weeks after the completion of the makeover, friends of the family, neighbors and people from the area, who heard about the bedroom makeover, are stopping by to view the room and art work. So, in that respect, it is really like an art exhibit for an underprivileged community.

Many of the recipients attend or have attended New York City public schools. Students graduate District 75 Special Education schools in NYC when they are 21 years old. A large majority of these students have been attending school since the age of 9 years old or younger. The future for most of these students with special needs after they graduate is very bleak, especially if they have profound disabilities like Tamisha, a shortage of financial resources and their parent/caregiver is unable to be a strong and persistent advocate for them for a variety of reasons. With a paucity of suitable programs for these young adults to attend, many individuals, like Tamisha, are confined to their homes, under stimulated, lonely, bored and forgotten by society. Their caregivers are facing economic and social challenges, and are finding it difficult enough to survive and provide the necessities for their family. Although they would love more than anything to provide a dream bedroom for their child, they do not have the resources to do so. Because young individuals like this spend so much time in their bedroom, we feel the least we can do is create an uplifting and peaceful environment for them, one that is all their own, created just for them by the hands of compassionate and caring volunteers.