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Posts Tagged ‘thistle farms’

My daughter-in-law passed this along. Her colleague, who is related to the founder, told her about it.

Becca Stevens, an Episcopal priest on Vanderbilt University’s campus in Tennessee, founded the Magdalene in 1997 to provide practical and emotional help to women often regarded as outcasts — ex-offenders, addicts, street people.

According to the website: “For two years, we offer housing, food, medical and dental needs, therapy, education and job training without charging the residents or receiving government funding.

  • Our six homes function without 24-hour live-in staff, relying on residents to create a supportive community, maintain recovery, and share household tasks.
  • Women come to Magdalene from prison, the streets and from across the Southeast and the country. …

“After four months, the women find work, return to school and/or enter Magdalene’s job training program at Thistle Farms, a social enterprise. …

“Magdalene’s programs are grounded in its 24 spiritual principles that advocate living gracefully in community with one another.”

The website also describes the Thistle Farms products: “By hand, the women create natural bath and body products that are as good for the earth as they are for the body. Purchases of Thistle Farms products directly benefit the women by whom they were made.

“Thistle Farms employs over 40 Magdalene residents or graduates. While working at Thistle Farms, women learn skills in manufacturing, packaging, marketing and sales, and administration. It is a supportive workplace where women acquire the skills they need to earn a living wage. Employees have the opportunity to put a percentage of their earnings in a matched savings account provided by Magdalene.” Read more.

Thistle Farms provides lots of ideas for holidays when you especially want to give gifts that help people. (This year I gave a few gifts from SERRV, for example, and my sister-in-law gave care packages from nonprofit San Francisco food incubator La Cocina, and people who bought charm necklaces at Luna & Stella, gave part of the cost to FreeArtsNYC.)

The products are all of such a quality as to make you want them at other times of year, too.

Photo: http://www.thistlefarms.org/
Women who work in the Thistle Farms Cafe head off for vacation Dec. 24.

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