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Local non-profit is building bedrooms with a purpose for children with illnesses

Published: Mar. 4, 2021 at 10:00 PM CST
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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - What started as an idea from a TV show has now turned into a passion.

“I was immediately hooked, I wanted to do this so bad,” Executive Director of Rooms With A Purpose Sherry Melton said. “When I did the first room, when we opened the door on that first reveal, I knew I never wanted to do anything else.”

The nonprofit Rooms With A Purpose has made giving bedroom makeovers to children with life-challenging illnesses its entire mission.

“Knowing that you’re giving them something that they will enjoy makes you feel good,” Rooms With A Purpose Secretary Helen Poucher said. “We all enjoy making people feel good, and this is just one good way of doing it.”

To the volunteers, every makeover is special. But to them, the first-ever Rooms With A Purpose makeover will always stick out in their minds.

Siblings Mayvory and Maverick Rienzo have a rare form of Primordial Dwarfism which caused them to miss out on things that most take for granted, like having a bed or picking out their own clothes.

“These children had never known that,” Melton said. “So, we built them beds that were small that was just for their size. We built them a closet system that was just their size.”

Not only do children receive the gift of a remodeled bedroom, but the entire family is gifted a fun getaway from rooms with a purpose. The organization pays for a hotel, meals, and a day’s worth of family activities.

“We all know to do a family fun day can be expensive and you throw a special needs child in there, it’s really tough,” Melton said. “We take care of everything for them.”

Volunteers say nothing compares to the reaction of a child seeing their new bedroom for the first time.

“It’s just a warm fuzzy feeling and a joy to watch their faces and see their new stuff,” Poucher said.

“There is nothing in the world like it,” Melton said. “It’s the most incredible feeling to see that child’s face light up, to see them know this was done just for them.”

The cost of each bedroom is about $3,500. Rooms With A Purpose has a goal of doing five rooms a year.

For more information on how to make a donation or to become a volunteer, visit their Facebook here: Rooms With A Purpose | Facebook

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