Blissful Bedrooms


Blissful Bedrooms was founded in 2009 by Martha and Alex. They decided to paint the room of one of Martha’s former physical therapy students,Tamisha (her nickname was “Butterfly”).Tamisha had insurmountable physical limitations that prevented her from voluntarily moving her body – she could only move her head. Tamisha was unable to sit upright, change her position independently and was very uncomfortable in her wheelchair. She was also non-verbal with the exception of some distinct vocalizations, which she used to communicate her needs and emotions. Despite all of her physical challenges, Tamisha was highly intelligent, witty, and had a wonderful sense of humor. She was 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 shared a very special heart connection that developed over time, and thoroughly enjoyed each others company.

After graduating from school at the age of 21, Tamisha was not placed in an adult day program because there were very few at the time that were able to accommodate the high level of support she needed with activities of daily living.To find the perfect placement under the best of circumstances, and especially for someone in Tamisha’s position, takes a great deal of advocacy, tenacity and patience. It was then that Tamisha’s life drastically changed, and she no longer received the mental stimulation or opportunities to participate in social interactions with her peers, as she did when she went to school everyday. It hurt to see Tamisha in this predicament, and to witness her get more and more depressed after she graduated. Martha and Alex wanted desperately to cheer Tamisha up and improve her quality of life, but they were at a loss as to how they could do that. They talked a lot about what they could do to bring Tamisha some happiness. After all, given her physical limitations and challenges with voluntary movement, it wasn’t as simple as buying her an iPod or another trendy gift.

Finally, Martha and Alex came up with the idea of transforming Tamisha’s bedroom with paint and decorations that fit her personality. They purchased all of the supplies they would need, and together they spent an entire weekend painting her room, hanging butterflies and applying rainbows. At the completion, Tamisha’s father carried her into the room (she was kept out the whole weekend and slept in the living room), and Tamisha’s eyes widened with delight, as she let out the loudest “WOW!!” you ever heard followed by screams of excitement. Her father, a single parent, was just as moved by his daughter’s unexpected emotional reaction as Martha and Alex were, and had tears rolling down his face. As Martha and Alex left Tamisha’s home that evening, they shared with each other how touched they were by the whole experience, and how wonderful it felt to make Tamisha so happy. As the weeks followed, they spoke more about the experience, and how awesome it would be to bring that kind of joy to others in Tamisha’s situation. But, they recognized they needed more help, and also wanted to share with others how fun and rewarding volunteering could be.

Martha and Alex quickly identified the recipient of the next makeover – Angel. They put an ad on Craig’s List describing their mission and sought volunteers to help. Many wonderful people of all ages and backgrounds answered that ad with enthusiasm, and with offers to help with the makeovers.

Blissful Bedrooms is comprised of some very special individuals who answered that ad early on, and have committed themselves to being long-term volunteers. Many volunteers have come and gone, leaving their heart print on our organization, and new ones show up to help us carry out the mission. With each makeover after Tamisha’s, the volunteer team grew and now they routinely involve approximately 20 or more volunteers, who contribute in a variety of ways. One past project actually involved 50 volunteers (see Juan’s makeover). It all feels very miraculous and years later, Martha and Alex still feel extremely thankful and privileged to be lead volunteers for Blissful Bedrooms.

As a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, we are always wishing big corporate sponsors will come on board. However, at this time our fundraising is mostly grassroots, and the majority of our makeovers have been accomplished by modest donations of $20-$100 from many, many everyday folks. We treasure that aspect of Blissful Bedrooms because it shows that small acts by many people can lead to big and wonderful outcomes. The average cost to create a Blissful Bedroom is approximately $6,000-10,000 depending on the level of technology included. Please donate whatever you can to help us continue do this work. If you would like to explore sponsoring our organization and/or volunteering, please contact us!