Nonprofit Room Redux gives trauma survivors a change of scenery

Image description
Room Redux provides children that have been abused with a room makeover to create a sanctuary. (Lauren Canterberry/Community Impact Newspaper)
Image description
Susie Vybiral, CEO of Room Redux, founded the nonprofit in 2018. (Lauren Canterberry/Community Impact Newspaper)
Image description
A Room Redux volunteer paints the room of a victim of abuse. (Lauren Canterberry/Community Impact Newspaper)
Children who experience abuse and other forms of trauma often receive critical counseling and support from social services but continue to live in environments tied to their past experiences, according to Susie Vybiral, founder and CEO of Room Redux.

Data from the Children’s Advocacy Centers of Texas states children are more likely to be abused by a family member or someone who they are familiar with, and 1 in 10 Texan children will be abused before turning 18.

“They’re in counseling, but very often they’re going back to a room where abuse occurred or there are triggers in the room,” Vybiral said.

Founded in 2018, Room Redux coordinates with caregivers, caseworkers, counselors and volunteers to transform the rooms of children who have endured trauma in order to create a safe space where they can heal.

The nonprofit has redesigned more than 20 rooms in New Braunfels and has eight chapters throughout the country.


Each chapter follows the same process, which begins with a referral from a counselor, caseworker, family member or other trusted adult.

The room transformation is a surprise to the child, and Room Redux staff and volunteers complete the project in one day.

Vybiral takes measurements of the room while the child is away, and parents or caregivers fill out a questionnaire about the child’s likes, dislikes and items he or she needs or wants.

“The morning of the transformation we show up [with a] truck and trailer full of their room transformation decor and furniture and get in there when the child’s not there,” Vybiral said. “It’s completely anonymous; they never see us.”

New furniture, decorations and paint are either donated or purchased through grants or donations, and every room design includes the child’s name to give him or her ownership.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Vybiral and her team had to postpone a transformation from March to May while they implemented measures to keep families and workers safe.

There were limits to how many volunteers could be inside the room at a time, and the room was sanitized when it was complete. Hand-washing stations were also provided.

Vybiral and other experts are also concerned that the school closures and social distancing requirements will cause increases in domestic violence and decreases in reports of abuse.

Room Redux plans to redesign more rooms with COVID-19 precautions in place, Vybiral said, and the nonprofit is currently accepting monetary and furniture donations for upcoming projects.

“We all have to really think and take more time to focus on children, to break the cycles ... of children feeling unworthy and then passing it on,” Vybiral said. “They deserve to know that they’re worthy and that they’re cared about by people they don’t even know and who expect nothing from them.”
By Lauren Canterberry
Lauren began covering New Braunfels for Community Impact Newspaper in 2019. Her reporting focuses on education, development, breaking news and community interest stories. Lauren is originally from South Carolina and is a graduate of the University of Georgia.


MOST RECENT

Salvation Pizza, opening in the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport June 16, is one of several new pizza options in the Austin area. (Courtesy Salvation Pizza)
Pie chart: See a map of 11 new, coming-soon pizza options in the Austin area

New spots include Above Ground Pizza opening in New Bruanfels after several permitting delays and Salvation Pizza feeding travelers at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport

The extension of Kenney Fort Boulevard is underway north of Hwy. 79. (Amy Bryant/Community Impact Newspaper)
North-south road in Round Rock makes progress; homestead exemption OK'd in Leander and more Central Texas news

Read the top business and community news from the past week from the Central Texas area.

Gov. Greg Abbott, center signed Senate Bills 2 and 3 into law June 8 in response to the devastating winter storm last February. (Trent Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Gov. Abbott signs bills to reform ERCOT and weatherize Texas power grid

The bills will go into effect Sept. 1 and aim to reform ERCOT leadership and increase accountability and communication among power agencies.

How healthy are these 5 Central Texas counties?

Williamson County ranked as one of the top counties in Texas and the top county in Central Texas when measuring length and quality of life. Travis County ranked next in the grouping.

Work was previously completed on other portions of Rio Drive. (Courtesy New Braunfels Utilities)
Portion of Rio Drive in New Braunfels to remain closed until early July

The work is part of NBU's efforts to install 42-inch sanitary sewer lines.

Jonathan Packer will join the Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce as president and CEO in July. (Courtesy New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce)
Newly appointed president of Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce set to begin work in July

Jonathan Packer will join the chamber in New Braunfels after working for the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce since 2015.




In 2019, We’re All In volunteers delivered packaged meat to area shelters. Some in-person events were altered during the 2020 donations. (Courtesy We’re All In)
New Braunfels area nonprofit We’re All In donates meat from livestock raised by local youth

What began as an effort to make raising livestock more affordable for local children has grown into a nonprofit that provides meat products to local children and family shelters.

In New Braunfels and beyond, Central Texas communities come together to drive up vaccination rates

Convincing hesitant people to get vaccinated is the goal for Central Texas health authorities, volunteer groups and physicians. Working in conjunction to reach these pockets of vaccine-hesitant Texans, they hope to boost vaccination rates past the threshold for herd immunity.

Staff members at Fickle Pickles help customers with in-store or online purchases. (Photos by Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)
New Braunfels shop Fickle Pickles continues to build on its global reputation

Technically, Fickle Pickles sells three products, each an offshoot of the original pickle formula Shaw created decades ago.