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Thistle Farms/Magdalene House and Supporting Women with your Purchases

March 24, 2009

A couple of bloggers have written this week about Magdalene House and Thistle Farms, a residential program in middle Tennessee for women seeking to get out of drug abuse and prostitution, and the bath and body product shop that the women work in to support the program, respectively.

The local Nashville City Paper has a write-up of the program on the occasion of its 10-year anniversary last year:

“Magdalene House was founded by Becca Stevens, an Episcopal priest, as a two-year resident community and safe haven for women to break free from the demons that bound them to the streets — drug abuse, prostitution, poverty and criminal records.

The women come in shells of themselves — often plagued by diseases like AIDS or Hepatitis C, without any possessions and haunted by criminal records.

They are given a free place to stay for two years during which they learn to live autonomously. Their lives are structured by a full schedule of individualized therapy sessions, 12-step program meetings, post traumatic stress groups and spirituality classes as well as classes that teach fiscal responsibility and financial planning.”

Thistle Farms products are available from Thistle Farms’s online store, as is the book, “Find Your Way Home: Words from the Street, Wisdom from the Heart,” in which “the women of Magdalene and Thistle Farms ask questions that all of us ask, and they share their own joyous, painful, uplifting answers. Inspired by the classic Benedictine Rule, the women have written down 24 rules they live by in the Magdalene community, a place of healing and grace.” Mack at the Coyote Chronicles has one review of the book. Sharon Cobb also provides more info.

There is also a film floating around about the facility, Chances: the Women of Magdalenethis post from my old home at a blogspot address has a description. The film can apparently be purchased through the Documentary Channel.

Now, I know from Newscoma and others that some bloggers have been specifically asked or intentionally coordinated blog coverage this week of Thistle Farms. I want to make clear that I don’t know how that was organized, who started it, or why, and that this post is not officially part of that effort – but I don’t think I’ve reminded you about Thistle Farms in a bit (uh, actually since December, so not as long as I thought!), so I figured I might as well do a post now while people are talking about the organization. While I don’t have any first-hand experiences with the facility, everything I’ve read thus far has been positive.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. March 24, 2009 2:40 pm

    Hi Rachel,
    What a wonderful story! Thank you so much!

    It is “my bad,” but I could not find an email address for you. I had posted here a few times asking for your email because I had lost the one I had, and never heard back.

    I tried to coordinate this, and gave the publicist the names of all bloggers in TN. I could think of on the left, right, center, etc. Unfortunately, only4 got back to her. I specifically listed her so the bloggers who don’t know me(almost all) or don’t like me, were included because it’s such an important cause, and I’d never be so petty as to leave anyone out intentionally. (Plus, from what I read, I think you’re very cool–though even if I didn’t think a blogger was “cool,” I recommended them)

    My apologies for accidentally omitting you. Please please please send me your email: MissSharonCobb@aol.com. Better yet, include a phone #.

    There are other events coming up that I think would interest you and I need your addy or phone number to make sure this doesn’t happen again.

    But it’s fully my responsibility and it was completely accidental.

    I hope to hear from you with your info!

    Thanks again for this great post.
    Sharon

  2. March 24, 2009 3:13 pm

    Hey, Sharon, no problem. I wasn’t sure what the details were on whoever was organizing it, so I didn’t want anyone to think the post was “official” as part of the effort if there was some reason why it shouldn’t be. Will send you my email shortly (let me know if you don’t get it). I need to rethink having only the contact form on this blog and no explicit email address. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but now it seems like it might be better to just have the address up front and let the spam filter earn its keep!

Trackbacks

  1. Newscoma » Blog Archive » Tennessee Bloggers Combine Efforts
  2. Renee & Monica’s Interview with Women from Magdalene/Thistle Farms « Women’s Health News
  3. Take Back the Night Event This Tuesday Night – Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN « Women's Health News

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