Saturday, November 26, 2011

All Ages Welcome To The Circle

People from all ages come to Thistle Farms to meet the women, see products being hand made and learn about love and healing. Below are some of the reflections from a group of youth -- in grades 4-7 -- from Westminster Presbyterian Church's Mission Camp, after their visit.

"My experience at Thistle Farms was amazing. I learned how it changes people's lives and I think that is so cool. My experience was also fun because I got to see the products that they make and I even got to buy some of the products." 
Anna A.
12 years old

"Thistle Farms was a great experience! I didn't just have fun; I learned things about how the choices people make affect their lives."
Addison W.
12 years old
Interested in bringing your group to Thistle Farms?  For volunteering opportunities, contact and for education workshops, contact


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Thanksgiving for Donna Grayer

Magdalene's Beloved Program Director: 
Donna Grayer

We want to salute the Director of our Program Services Team.

In 2004 Donna Grayer came to work at Magdalene as our Clinical Director. While she brought more than 20 years of clinical experience working with homeless and addicted adults to our programs, it is what she brings to her work everyday for which we are most grateful.

As this Thanksgiving approaches, we are mindful of Donna's steady, compassionate, and thoughtful presence that allows residents, staff and volunteers to find a place in our community for growth and recovery.

Here are some of the things residents and grads have said about her:

When I went into the program, I felt like nothing, and Ms. Donna was the light at the end of the tunnel. She showed me how to be a woman. At the beginning, we all feel like dirt on the ground and unworthy. She shows and reminds us that we are women who should be treated with dignity and respect. She is my stepping stone. 
- Shelby

To me, Donna is the glue that holds the programming team together. She also really helps the women with their mental issues. In my eyes, she's a mentor. She's the person who helped me believe in myself--that I could do anything." 
- Shelia

Ms. Donna is a loving, nurturing woman who is willing to take time out to help other people with their problems. She helps us keep our issues and communication at 'level one. 

Ms. Donna is my mentor. She's a good person to talk to, and she's a wonderful listener. 

She's my momma away from home. 
- Jordan

Thank you Donna for your love, commitment and passion that has made the difference in the lives of so many women!  We love you!


Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Continued Personal Journey To Health

You might remember the 5K the women of Magdalene & Thistle Farms participated in earlier this year.  One of the Magdalene women who walked that day has continued her own personal journey to health by becoming a committed walker.

Lydia has lost 20 pounds since September and has lost a total of 60 pounds. She currently walks up to 5 miles each day and is participating today in The Mayor's Challenge 5K.

Lydia was mentioned in today's Tennessean and her poetry is featured monthly in The Contributor and on her blog.  Congratulations and good luck, Lydia -- we're all cheering for you!