On September 4, 2013 I had the opportunity to visit Thistle Farms &Thistle Stop Café. I started my visit in the Wednesday morning circle. This is where everyone sits in a circle and a prayer and focus is read. You then introduce yourself and if you are a part of Thistle Farm family you tell your story. The theme for that morning was staying on point.
After the meeting we were given a tour of the entire facility including where they make the bath and body products by hand, the sewing shop, the paper shop and the administrative offices. We ended our tour at the Thistle Stop Cafe where we had lunch and heard stories from our guides.
What is Thistle Farms?
From their website:
Thistle Farms is a social enterprise of women who have survived lives of prostitution, trafficking, addiction, and life on the streets. By hand the women create natural body care products. Magdalene is the 2-year residential community. We believe love is stronger than all the forces that drive women to the streets.
How it impacted me?
I was really moved by the ladies’ stories and was also motivated by their resolve. Even in dire straights they have and are pulling themselves up and moving on to bigger better things. It also reminded me that no matter what a person’s background is you should never give up on them. If they are trying to make positive moves in their lives then you should help and encourage them on that path.
How you can get involved?
If you would like to know how you can help you can visit their website at thistlefarms.org. You can also help by stopping by the Thistle Stop Cafe and getting some food or purchasing their products. They also do mail order of their products and can ship anywhere. You can even do a home party selling their products. For more information visit thistlefarms.org.
Just Two Stories Out Of Many
I heard many stories on that day but here is just a sample of two of the stories shared by our two lovely guides.
Chelle – admin. and a graduate of the program. The first time she came she got clean and thought she could handle it. She had a place, a hair shop, a car and her kids. But she got overwhelmed and started using again. But the second time she had help and Magdalene helped her to get back on point.
Jennifer -was molested and introduced to drugs at an early age. She left home around 14. Had her first kid at 16. Married at 17. Second kid at 19, but he died shortly after birth. That caused her to divorce her husband and go deeper into drugs and prostitution. She now is on the road to recovery and enjoys working at Thistle Farms. She also is enjoying her children and grandchildren.
Thistle Farms Quick Facts:
- Motto: Love Heals
- They have the circle meditation every Wednesday at 9am.
- What makes them unique is they deal in solutions to the problem of sex abuse and sex trafficking and drug addiction.
This is the type of food that you can expect at the Thistle Stop Cafe.
They not only have the cafe, but they sell all types of products like bath, body, paper and quilts that can be sold in home parties or bought right at the cafe or ordered online.