On Monday evening, Marcus Hummon, Julie Roberts, Don Schlitz, and Emily Saliers played a benefit at Eddie’s Attic. That evening we made another $3,400 in sales and invited the packed room to become Thistle Farmers. Tara and Katrina from Thistle Farms told a little bit about who we are and why we are traveling around the country. My favorite moment was when Tara covered her eyes and through tears said to the crowd, "you have no idea what it feels like to me to be loved by strangers. You don't know me, and I can feel your love.”
The next day we all went into the prison. Volunteer Carolyn Snell, Abingdon Publishing's John Kutsko and two journalists from the Atlanta Journal Constitution joined us and we offered out presentation to 300 women inmates. The prison choir joined Emily in a rendition of "Amazing Grace". The crowd all sang along on Don's "The Gambler". I spoke about the similarities we were experiencing in the prisons and how I believed in the power of women working in community. Seeing several pregnant women was humbling. Listening to the stories after the presentation undoes me. It's a hard world, and I am grateful to walk through it with friends who continue to try and love the whole world one person at a time.
For more photos from our trip, look at our Flickr page. For more information on the tour, visit the Abingdon Press page. Special thanks to the Atlantic Journal Constitution for covering the event. For the full story, go HERE.
Story by Becca Stevens
Photos by Carolyn Snell