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Blissful Seeds offers soap and hope to people with special needs

The non-profit organization is giving jobs to young adults thriving with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

POWAY, Calif. — A Poway family says something as simple as a bar of soap is giving purpose to young adults thriving with Autism Spectrum Disorder. In this Zevely Zone, I visited the non-profit organization Blissful Seeds where we found soap and hope parked inside a four-car garage in Poway. 

"Michael is now 11-years-old," said Rita Nasrallah. Her son Michael was diagnosed with autism when he was almost two years old. Rita regrets to say for years, Michael was stuck and so was she. "I feel like I failed my son as a mother because I did not enjoy him when he was deserves to be enjoyed because he is an amazing human being," said Rita.  

Credit: CBS 8

In the summer of 2012, within a short period of time, Rita says Michael went from being outgoing and happy to withdrawn, depressed and uninterested in the world around him. The more Rita learned about their challenges, the more she realized their story resembled that of hundreds of other families in San Diego. "They basically tell you that they don't know what's going to happen, they don't know if he is going to get better, they don't know if he is going to talk," said Rita. "As a parent this is the worst of your nightmares."

Credit: CBS 8

During the darkness of COVID, something beautiful started to grow. The Nasrallah family formed a non-profit organization called Blissful Seeds. They started inviting people with Autism Spectrum Disorder to their home to make handmade soaps, bath bombs, bath salts and much more. "I look at it and I go wow I did that'" said Mathew Walters. The 24-year-old oversees the program's soap. "It's made me feel like I am part of a family," said Mathew.  

Credit: CBS 8

Thirty-year-old Tiannia Roberts is in charge of making jewelry. "I like it because it's fun," said Tiannia. 

"They come happy to work, I think most of us don't do that," said Rita. Her husband and Michael's father is Dr. Fady Nasrallah. He is the trauma surgeon who saved the life of former CBS 8 Sports Director Kyle Kraska. "Kyle died three times during the first 24 hours," said Dr. Nasrallah. In 2015, Kyle was shot six times. Dr. Nasrallah says Kyle's fighting spirit can be seen in every one of the young adults at Blissful Seeds.

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Fifteen-year-old Abel Kassahun loves to paint beautiful handmade soap and then trade a paintbrush for a fork. "Lunch!" exclaimed Abel. The soaps are so beautiful, they're often mistaken for slices of cake. "Life feels good again, this company is helping me as much as it is helping them," said Rita. "Like I always say it only takes a shift in that mindset, like once we start focusing on what they can do and what brings them joy in making their whole life start making sense for them. This is the only thing I am doing, only giving them, a chance and I think they deserve it."

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Rita has become an advocate for increased awareness and inclusion. Her dream is for San Diegans to support her labor of love. The more soap and products they sell the more the program will grow.  All Blissful Seeds' participants get paid for their time. Your contribution to Blissful Seeds will allow children to transform their lives and become active participants in their community.  Products are available online and at Farmers' Markets in La Mesa, La Jolla and Bonita. For more information about Blissful Seeds click here.

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