Thistle Farms stands for the truth that, in the end, love is the most powerful force for change in the world. – Reverend Becca Stevens, Founder of Thistle Farms
I am a huge follower of journalists Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn’s work. The couple have dedicated their lives to promoting women’s rights around the world and it was after reading their eye-opening book “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide” that I made up my mind to devote my life to giving back and making a difference. I know it sounds rather cliché but honestly, I was so moved and intellectually awakened by their book that I began my work volunteering abroad, fundraising for building a school in Nepal and all the other social good writing and advocacy I do.
Their most recent book and documentary “A Path Appears: Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunities” expands on the overall themes in “Half the Sky”. It was from watching the documentary on PBS last year that I learned about the inspiring work of Reverend Becca Stevens and Thistle Farms, and I was delighted when they contacted me for an interview on my blog.
Like many amazing organizations, Thistle Farms and its residential program Magdalene, all began by one woman who wanted to make a difference and promote change, Becca Stevens, an Episcopal Priest from Tennessee. Becca was finishing her last year of Divinity School at Vanderbilt and became inspired to give back to the community. After talking with police officers, homeless people and other social services within the community she realized a strong need to help women get off the streets and away from drugs, trafficking and prostitution. Many people believe that prostitution and human trafficking exist only in third world countries when in fact it is a huge problem here in the United States as well.