“Whether we are pouring wax for candles we light for the next woman finding her way home, sharing fabrics from Indonesia that tell the story of our sisters’ journey to financial freedom, or serving a cup of hot justice tea to a sojourner who visits the Thistle Stop Cafe, this work is all about one thing: women’s freedom”
– Becca Stevens
Saying “Yes to Love” is a global movement that we seek to spread to every corner of this earth, and we believe love is necessary to bring the next woman off the street and into freedom. Our global partners have taught us how similar we all are, regardless of the distance between us. As Becca said, “ we are unwavering in the proclamation that the story of a million women around the world being trafficked and abused is actually one story of one woman that we’ve met time and time again.”
Our Summer Survival Kit features collaborations with Ikerizi in Rwanda, Gifts for the Journey in Milwaukee, and Freeset in India. These three organizations have impacted the lives of hundreds of women by saying yes to love and providing economic opportunity to women survivors. In Rwanda, Ikirezi has empowered over 500 people, 80% of which are widows and orphans. After fleeing for his life during the genocide, Nicholas Hitimana, founder of Ikirezi, returned to his home country in order to help rebuild the lives of survivors in rural regions. Our sister community at Gifts for the Journey hand-make all natural soap providing employment and economic stability for women survivors of addiction, prostitution, prison and homelessness. Lastly, our most recent collaboration is with Freeset India, based in Sonaggachi, the largest sex district in Kolkata, India, giving women economic opportunity out of sex trafficking. Bravery and strength are stitched into the beautiful creations made by the survivors at Freeset.
The desire to provide for our families, to heal and to love is universal. We are the widow, the orphan, the prostitute, and the homeless. We embrace these titles, as we have been there and “we are responding in kind to insidious injustices with unstoppable love and compassion”. With every spray of bug-free, you are impacting hard-working farmers at Ikirezi. Every time you use the lemon verbena bar soap, you are empowering our sisters in Milwaukee. The use of the custom made Love Heals bag touches the life of a brave woman in India. Through this summer kit, you are experiencing the power of love across states, oceans and nations.
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.