Blissful Bedrooms
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Melissa’s bedroom makeover

UPDATE!!! During the weekend of 7/29-7/31/11, Blissful Bedrooms gave Melissa the Fairy Princess Garden bedroom of her dreams! More than 20 volunteers physically and creatively contributed to this act of love and compassion, and countless other individuals invested the funds in Melissa’s happiness to make it all possible. Melissa and her devoted mother now have a sanctuary of Melissa’s personal vision and design, their very own secret garden where they can escape from the challenges and rigors of daily life to feel rejuvenated, happy and peaceful. The serene and content smile Melissa wears on her face while lying on her bed at night conveys that her reality and dreams have lovingly collided and found the perfect compromise. Blissful Bedrooms wishes Melissa and her mom much joy and love in their new bedroom!

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Melissa is an 18-year-old female who is sure to steal your heart with her purity and innocence, as well as her angelic face and fragile femininity. She currently attends a New York City Special Education school. Melissa is challenged with cerebral palsy, spastic quadriplegia type, which means that her arms and legs are affected. She is very articulate and speaks in a soft and breathy voice. Melissa is unable to stand, walk or sit up without support. She is independent in operating a motorized wheelchair to get around school and home. She is dependent for most activities of daily living, such as bathing, grooming, toileting, dressing and transfers. Melissa does minimally assist with transfers to and from her wheelchair by using her upper extremities. She really yearns to be independent and eagerly pursues every opportunity she can to do this. Melissa has good functional use of her upper extremities and can feed herself, use a computer (keyboard and mouse), manipulate an Ipod and TV/Wii remote control, and sort through papers. She loves giving hand massages and lucky recipients report that she is very good! At school, Melissa has the unofficial job of handing out mail and she is becoming very proficient at using a computer in her classroom. Melissa lives in an apartment, in a low-income housing development in the Bronx, with her mother, older sister and younger brother who also has special needs (he is diagnosed with autism). She shares the bedroom with her mother and neither of them would have it any other way. Presently Melissa and her mom share a Queen-sized bed. When asked if they would like separate beds in their new bedroom, they both looked at each other and emphatically said no. They obviously share a deep and nurturing love that benefits both of them.

Melissa is extremely excited about her upcoming bedroom transformation, which is scheduled to take place during the weekend of 7/30-7/31. In fact, when we told her that she was next in line for a bedroom makeover, she practically jumped out of her wheelchair giggling and squealing with pure delight. She said in a passionate and loud whisper “I want this so bad!” When asked what she wanted her dream bedroom to look like, Melissa was very certain and it was obvious she had given much thought to it already. She said that she wanted her room to be pink, green and peach and have beautiful, brightly colored flowers with fairies, and a romantic canopy style bed. She also made sure we knew that she really wanted a Ipad or computer and a TV. Mom is just as excited and happy as Melissa and is in full agreement with Melissa’s design plans.

In her free time, Melissa enjoys listening to Christian music, going to church, watching the The Learning Channel and romantic films such as her favorite movie The Titanic, and using the computer. She is a real girlie-girl and loves wearing pretty clothes, bracelets and other feminine accessoriess.

Blissful Bedrooms can’t wait to give Melissa and her adoring mom a beautiful bedroom that they can feel peaceful and happy in for years to come. Please help us give this very special young lady, and her devoted mom, a dreamy, ethereal and magical bedroom by making a donation today.




Photos

Please take a few moments to view the photos from Melissa's makeover weekend, which include Before & After photos of her bedroom, pictures of the details and art work, her reaction to the Revealing of her bedroom, the process of transforming the bedroom and the Reveal party celebration with Blissful Bedrooms friends and supporters.

MELISSA'S FAIRY PRINCESS PHOTO SHOOT

Alexey Dvoryadkin, the Co-Founder and official photographer of Blissful Bedrooms, did it again! He captured the transcendental beauty of Melissa's spirit in these photographs. The part of Melissa that can fly and dance and twirl around and around. The true Melissa that is free from the confines of her wheelchair, her braces, her complete and total dependence on others for survival. The awesome volunteer photo shoot team transported Melissa to a place where she is free to skip and float and romp joyfully in the lightness of her being. Alex took these beautiful photographs for for all to see, but most importantly for Melissa to see. A selection of these pictures are displayed in her brand new bedroom, so while Melissa dwells on this earth, she will never forget the true essence and beauty of her being. Spread your fairy wings Melissa and illuminate us with your radiant light. You are beautiful and we celebrate you!!

On a steamy hot Sunday morning on 7/24/11, a team of Blissful Bedrooms volunteers showed up at Melissa’s home in the Bronx with one shared intention: to make Melissa the center of all of their focus for the next several hours, and to use their talents and compassionate spirits to create a magical and enchanted fantasy world of Melissa’s making. They came toting suitcases filled with camera equipment, colorful flowers, fairy wings, romantic dresses, feminine jewelry, glittery makeup, blow dryers, hair accessories and other items hand picked to help Melissa embody the romantic persona of a Fairy Princess. Melissa had a wonderful time and never stopped smiling. The photographs that were taken capture her charming fairy personality so well, and we were all quite amazed how effortlessly and naturally Melissa was able to transform into her fairy character.

Melissa’s Photoshoot Team:
Lizzie Arneson – Hair Stylist
Martha Bernabe – Prop Stylist/Creative Consultant–Creator of Melissa’s Fairy Wings - www.Marthabernabe.com
Alexey Dvoryadkin – Photographer - www.alexographer.com
Suzy Gerstein – Makeup Artist - www.suzygerstein.com
Betty Gerstein – Prop/Wardrobe Stylist
Martha Gold-Dvoryadkin – Prop/Wardrobe Stylist

Video
Support
Thank you to all of the amazing people who made this spectacular event possible! Whether you volunteered your time, donated money, or donated products and services, we are forever grateful and couldn't have done it without you.

Thank you to all of the talented & dedicated VOLUNTEERS who contributed to Melissa’s bedroom makeover!

Volunteers

Lizzie Arneson
Chelsea Bacon
Al Benkin
Martha Bernabe
Stephen Caputo
Bekah Coulter
Maria DeFrancesco
Alexey Dvoryadkin
Christina Gidsis
Martha Gold-Dvoryadkin
Suzanne Gerstein
Michael Kabram
Harry Lacoste
Cory Mahler
Carla Reyes
Donna Sagona
Karin Sagona
Adam Seim
Sarah Seim
Anna Uzzell-Harreveld
John Wolff

Volunteers






Thank you to all of the generous ORGANIZATIONS/BUSINESSES and INDIVIDUALS who have supported Melissa’s bedroom makeover by donating funds, services and/or materials. This makeover could not have been possible without your help!

Organizations/Businesses

Adames Rentals
Brooklyn Bagel & Coffee Company, Astoria, NY - www.brooklynbagelandcoffeecompany.com
Bruised Not Broken (Dave Goldstein) – www.bruisednotbroken.com
Budget Car Rental – LaGuardia Airport (Manager: Roberto Louis) - www.budget.com
Common Cents New York, Inc (Thank you to P.S. 811x for voting for us to receive a portion of your Penny Harvest collection)
EmbroidMe - www.embroidme-midtownnyc.com
Film Biz Recycling (Eva Radke) - www.filmbizrecycling.org
Freedom Week NYC (Deirdre Mars)
Myth.com (Suza) - www.myth.com
Orangepiel (Michael McCool) – www.orangepiel.com
P.C. Richards, East 86th Street, New York (Chris) – www.pcrichard.com
Spring Air International (Bob Cppola) - www.springair.com
Sweet Emilia Jane - sweetemiliajane.com
Tekserve (Dave Lerner) – www.Tekserve.com
Tremont Locksmiths & Hardware, Inc. (Zvi Zohar) - www.tremontlock.com
Trinitwinz, Inc. (Tracy & Nadiah Gittens) - trinitwinz.com

Individuals

Jacqueline Alicea
Brenda Allen
Denise Benkel
Stella Benkel
Christina Buck
Erica Capalbo
Stephen Caputo
Ciretta Carroll
Patricia Corso
Sandra Couture
Lisa Currie
Katherine Deats & Kristin Long
Maria DeFrancesco & Neal Jacobs
Julio Diaz
Moses DSouza
Kimberly & Chiara Escobar
Sandra Esguerra
Carolyn Fitzmaurice
Susan Flynn
Patrick Foran
Lefkie Fradelos
Stephanie Freeman
Tian Gao
Betty & Victor Gerstein
Suzanne Gerstein
Michael & Lois Gillern
Tracy Gittens
Colleen Glendening
Michele Golom-Polgano
John Haney
Anna Harreveld
Deirdre Hess
Genia House
Philip Jason
Jenny Javer
Caroline Jones
Denise Kimberg
Hemanthaveni Kottu
Frances Lim
JoAnne Lipsy
Cory Mahler
Emilia McCool
Janet McNamee
Heather McQuade
Jenny Montalbano
Constance Morgan
Melissa Moschitto
Rebecca Nelson
Charlotte Nicholson
Lisa Norowski
Kim Oransky
Sophia Ovanessian
Darren Overby -
Yevgeniya Paviova
Gregory Platko
Patricia Penuela
Candasie Pitt
Denise Polgano
Isamar Ramos
Venkateshwar Rao
JoAnne Raskin
Patricia Reber
Betty Rojas
Geraldine Russo
Brad Sagona)
Donna Sagona
Karin Sagona
Aileen Salvante
Jessica Santikul
Arlene Santos
Dr. Volker Schuetz
Adam & Sarah Seim
Roseann Simmons
Sandra Singer
Kara Sprague
Amy Stevens
Melinda Swope
Sarah Suh
Ryoya Terao
Jane Uzzell
Martha Vallas
Vanessa von Hessert
John Wolff
Richard Wolff
Ayesha Yamin
Nina Young
Christopher Zguris

If you are touched and inspired by what you've seen above, please help us to perform our next bedroom makeover by making a donation of any amount today. Our work is only possible because of your generous contributions and loyal support!