Community Blog

From a Father to a Daughter: Love Heals Families, One Day at a Time

by Marlei Olson January 19, 2017

Love heals women, one day at a time; and, love heals family relationships, one day at a time.Thistle Farms​ ​is the miracle that​ ​my daughter​ ​Rachel needed coming out of prison having lost everything in her life. The miracle she needed provided a safe place for recovery from almost 20 years of substance abuse and addiction​ ​-- years of treatment, recovery and relapse.

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Meet Ericka: Professional, Board Member, Thistle Farms Graduate

by Melanie Reitz November 10, 2016

A 2003 Thistle Farms graduate, and now member of Thistle Farms’ Board of Directors, Ericka Monroe has a clear message for women coming into Thistle Farms: You can do it. In 2001, this is the message she received from Becca Stevens, and it has guided her ever since.  Ericka came to the program having spent four years on the streets. She was sure she wouldn’t stay, but, as she got to know the women around her, she realized there was something different here.

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From the Streets to Accounts Manager: Chelle is Living Proof

by Melanie Reitz October 12, 2016

The growth Thistle Farms has enjoyed in the last several years has kept Chelle Waller, survivor-leader and Accounts Manager, very busy. As a 2005 graduate, Chelle has seen a great deal of change since she first began. “At one time, we were only about 5 women working here, just at one little table,” Chelle recalls. Now, Chelle manages the accounts payable process for a company with a $4 million budget.
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We Are Not Alone: A Blog from Becca

by Becca Stevens September 19, 2016

On Thistle Farm's third trip to visit the Ikirezi community, Nicholas told me that our ecommerce partnership was important, not just because of the added economic value, but because it was a reminder that he wasn’t alone in this work. What he meant was that despite the overwhelming obstacles one faces in justice work out in the fields, we can overcome our times of loneliness and heartbreak if we work together.
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The Woman Standing in Front of Us: A Blog from Becca

by Becca Stevens August 30, 2016

v e r y t i m e a n e w p a r t n e r c o m e s o n b o a r d t h e g l o b a l t r a d e n e t w o r k , i t m a k e s t h e w h o l e e f f o r t s t r o n g e r . T h i s t l e F a r m s s e e m s t o k e e p g r o w i n g i n p r o p o r t i o n t o t h e c a l l i n g t o k e e p p r o c l a i m i n g l o v e a s t h e m o s t p o w e r f u l f o r c e f o r s o c i a l c h a n g e i n t h e w o r l d .   W e c a n t l i v e i n t o t h a t c a l l i n g w i t h o u t g l o b a l v i s i o n . W e c a n t t a l k a b o u t h e a l i n g w i t h o u t k n o w i n g t h e c o m m u n i t i e s o f w o m e n p r o d u c i n g t h e o i l s o r g r o w i n g t h e t e a .
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Speaking without Words: The Global Language of Love

by Melanie Reitz August 17, 2016

This past March, Thistle Farms’ survivor-leader and hospitality expert, Jennifer, traveled to San Eduardo, Ecuador with a small group from St. Augustine’s chapel. She had in hand the measurements for pencil and computer cases for the women artisans at Sibimbe, one of Thistle Farms’ Global partners. Two years prior, Jennifer visited the women of Sibimbe and their small sewing cooperative. She remembers that the community was struggling, but that the women she met loved working on beautiful sewn bags for Thistle Farms healing oil sets. Upon arrival, Jennifer couldn’t believe the differences she witnessed. “The community is thriving!” she exclaims.
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