Yolonda is a mother, sister, daughter, friend and active agent of change for her community. She grew up in Nashville with three sisters and two brothers. Yolonda began experimenting with drugs while she was a teenager and eventually became addicted. She spent approximately twenty years in the throws of addiction in spite of several attempts to get clean including going "cold turkey" through the birth of her son. She believe that Magdalene is helping her find a way out. She learned about Magdalene through her best friend who works as a resident manager. After entering the program, Yolanda discovered that love heals, and through sharing her struggles and triumphs with her sisters in the program, she has found healing. Yolonda said that Magdalene finally helped her realize a profound truth: “It wasn’t just the drugs. I had some deep core issues to work on.”
When asked what she has learned during her recovery, Yolonda says that Magdalene and Thistle Farms have taught her the principles of hospitality and living a life free of judgment towards oneself and others. After being in the program for 18 months, Yolonda was able to move out and start on a new path as an affiliate of the program. Yolonda now calls Thistle Farms her safe haven and comes to work everyday with a healthy respect for authority and a great sense of pleasure in working on a team to achieve common goals. She has moved up from manufacturing and now works in the shipping department. Ever-willing to step up, Yolanda says that there is still so much work to be done and believes “there’s no time to be tired” when one is devoted to the work of love, healing, and building community. With a warmhearted smile, she concludes that is indeed better to give than receive.
Always a Thistle Farmer, Yolonda recommends the Tea Tree Shower Gel to anyone interested in Thistle Farms products. She says, “It’s such a clean refreshing feeling after I use the tea tree shower gel. I step out of the shower and start singing.”