Thistle Farms/Magdalene House and Supporting Women with your Purchases
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 Magdalene – this 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.