On April 1, more than 250 Thistle Farmers gathered to honor our past, celebrate our present, and dream about our future. The celebratory gala was held in Nashville with Brad and Kimberly Paisley as honorary chairs. 

“The greatest joy of my life has been a hawkeye view of this communal vision. For decades we have talked about lighting up the world with humble, peaceful candles. I am grateful to know that violence and trauma can’t snuff that flame. We still have far to go. Our future is to continue to welcome the stranger, build new partnerships, and strengthen our networks to be a place of hospitality and healing.” said Thistle Farms Founder and President Becca Stevens. 

The evening was full of stories and celebration, with special musical performances by: 

  • Marcus Hummon & Levi Hummon
  • Tommy Prine
  • Tamica Nicole 
  • Dave Ragland

The event was coordinated by Amos Gott with catering by Flavor, and special support from our presenting sponsor, Amazon and additional support from Genesco, HCA, and FSI.

Three hundred candles glowed around the room - each one representing a woman served by Thistle Farms over the last 25 years. Like a beacon, they light the way for more women to cross the threshold to Thistle Farms in the coming years. With our community’s support, we stand ready to great our new heroes.

“Hope at Thistle Farms calls us to stand up when others sit down, take chances when the world whispers ‘play it safe’, universally believe that we all deserve something better, and then work like hell to get there. Hope doesn’t make problems go away but rather leads us to get past one challenge, celebrate a win, and move onto the next one. While on any given day those problems seem so much bigger than any of us, they are never bigger than all of us.” shared Thistle Farms CEO, Hal Cato.  

An old Irish proverb states, “It is in the shelter of one other that the people live.” 

On behalf of the community of Thistle Farms, thank you for being our shelter. We could not be more grateful for where we stand today or excited about the hopeful future that calls all of us forward to our next compelling chapter. 


Class of 2022

In this, our 25th year, we celebrate some of the strongest women we know.
These heroes crossed the threshold of Thistle Farms during the beginning of the pandemic and stand as living proof that love can withstand any adversity.


“What’s it going to take?” My mom asked on the other end of the phone as I sat in jail. She said my son had been asking if I was still alive, and it finally hit home. I swore I’d get out and do things differently.

I got into the Thistle Farms residential program. In those early days, it was hard hearing other women tell me they loved me. That kind of support was something I’d always wanted, but it felt surreal—like it could end at any moment. 

But day by day, I learned to be comfortable with myself, express emotions in a healthier way, and let others love me.

The best part was reuniting with my family. I never thought my mom and I could have the relationship we do today. And finally, after ten years, I’m ready to regain custody of my kids.

Recovery has helped me realize that life is full of possibilities. And to never lose hope because that’s all we’ve got. So even when days are rough, I know I’ll be alright.


When I finally got into treatment, I prayed that if God would just let me see my 30th birthday, I’d do whatever he needed me to do. 

My Aunt Rita advocated so hard for me to get into the program. I never planned on staying the whole two years at Thistle Farms, but one day at a time, I got closer to learning who Terrié was. 

My worst day in recovery will always be better than my best day in addiction. It’s the little things that make it so worth it. 

I have a bed, a home, a car…I have plenty of shoes, I am so blessed! 

I get to play with my children, clean my room, wash the dishes.

I’m not upset to pay my bills; I get to pay bills because I have money in the bank that I choose to save.

Thistle Farms didn’t give me a voice—they helped me find my voice, and I’m forever grateful for that.


For years, I didn’t think I had a problem. I lost everything before I realized I was an alcoholic.

When I found Thistle Farms, I got on the waiting list, but when they called me back, I was still in addiction. The next time they called, I was ready.

I never thought I could stay the whole two years. But day by day, I learned more about my disease, listened to women who’d lived through similar situations, and began to build lasting friendships. I started to work toward goals and believe in myself.

Now, graduation day is coming up, and I’m so excited!

I used to hear about the promises in meetings, and now I’m seeing them come true. I have a car and my own place. I’ve reconnected with my daughters and made sisters-for-life.

Without recovery and this program, I wouldn’t be here.

Life doesn’t always go according to plan, but I know now there’s always hope, and I don’t have to go it alone.