As we take this time on Thanksgiving to stop and reflect on what we’re grateful for, our hearts often go out to those less fortunate than us. Here at Malouf, we have a wonderful opportunity to provide quality products that are essential in everyday living. That places us in a great position to provide for bedding for those in need.
It recently came to our attention that Bright Star Youth Academy, a home for girls, was in need of some new bedding supplies. Lucky for us we were able to provide this small service, but our curiosity was poked. As we dove into their story more fully, our hearts broke.
Bright Star Youth Academy is a home for girls who have been abused, neglected, or exploited. They provide therapeutic services in a safe and protective home environment that encourages healing and positive progress. Bright Star was opened in July 2012 to “fill a desperate need to provide treatment for 10-17 year old girls in Dallas County, Texas, with emotional disorders stemming from abuse, neglect, and exploitation,” says Todd Bleakley, one of the original founders. The academy is currently housing 25 of these girls.
The girls lucky enough to be in Bright Star Youth Academy enter into an individualized program. This program involves several steps, like assessments, group or individual therapy, life skills classes, psychiatric services, and a plan to help the girls transition into a good home.
“We have the ability to help the girls, if they want to be helped,” says Bleakley. “Seeing a girl overcome her specialized disorder and be successfully placed in a good foster home or be adopted into a new family [is the best part of my job].” Bleakley also enjoys watching the development of a young woman as she successfully ages out of the program. Learn more about the program here.
An emotional video on their website has the voices of some of the residents talking about their experience in the home. One child explains how she was just viewed as “a thug” at home and was going to drop out of school. For the first time, she has a desire to go to college and become a bilingual pediatrician.
Other dreams created and cultivated at Bright Star include becoming a basketball player, a pediatrician, a sheriff deputy, and a chef.
We’re grateful for the Bright Star Youth Academy and the work they do. If you would like to donate to their wonderful cause, visit here. May we all take this time to reflect on the blessings in our life.