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Thistle and Bee :: Our January Nonprofit of the Month

Memphis surpassed Salt Lake City this year to rank as the most generous metropolitan area in the United States, giving almost $6 of every $100 earned to philanthropy. With this in mind, the Memphis Moms Blog wants to feature a local Nonprofit every month. There are so many amazing organizations in our city dedicated to looking out for the well being of all Memphians, and we want to feature them. If you know of a Nonprofit we should feature, Let us know by nominating them here

Helping women who have survived prostitution and trafficking thrive.

I sat in a circle of beat up folding chairs in a dingy church basement listening to women who were part of an incest survivors support group tell their hair-raising, heart-breaking stories. I was a second year seminarian with teenaged kids and a husband. I thought I knew a thing or two about life. What I learned is that I didn’t know much.

The women in that circle, with their fierce determination to reclaim what had been taken from them, taught me a lot about courage and grit and resilience. And hope and grace and love. Dawn and Chris in particular made a place for me in that circle and, unknowingly, planted a seed that years later would become a non-profit organization devoted to the healing of women.

At Thistle and Bee, founded in 2015, healing is at the heart of everything we do. We are committed to helping survivors of prostitution and trafficking thrive, not because we have all the answers, but because we recognizethe inherent worthiness of every woman. And because we believe in the power of love to transform brokenness into wholeness. We recognize that all of us are wounded people struggling to become whole, and so we are building a community where healing can happen.

Whether survivors are baking granola alongside staff and volunteers or sitting in a circle with a trusted counselor or staffing a sales table at a church fund-raiser, connections are being made and new possibilities are unfolding. As Ali Chesney, Thistle and Bee’s Social Enterprise Director, put it, “While one person is being assisted by another, the ‘assister’ is being held up by someone else. We belong to each other.”

The first group of survivors came to Thistle and Bee in June 2017. They have helped the social enterprisegrow from a loosely organized volunteer led operation into a revenue producing business. Our products—honey produced by bees in our apiaries, premium granola, and herbal tea—are made by women who are rebuilding their lives and are carried by a dozen retail outlets from Mud Island to Collierville.

Memphis Moms Blog harvesting honey thistle and bee nonprofit

As Thistle and Bee approaches our two year anniversary of serving survivors, we are gearing up for a big year. We are developing programming for our first residence, scheduled to open in late spring. Our social enterprise is streamlining systems and planning for expansion. We are looking to add new products and serve more women.

We hope you will join us in this work! The journey is long and it is difficult. But love is our companion along the way, and joy itsinevitable result.

To learn more, visit our website,, or follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Join us for upcoming events:

Galentines | a sip + shop event, February 22 | Click here for details.

Hutchison Beeline Bazaar, March 2

Cooper Young Farmers Market, check Facebook for Thistle and Bee Saturdays

Memphis Moms Blog thistle and bee plus flower nonprofit

Find our products at some of our partner retailers:

Babcock Gifts

Miss Cordelia’s Market

Curb Market in Crosstown Concourse


Muddy’s Bake Shopand Muddy’s Grind House

High Point Grocery

Inspire Community Cafe

Dixon Gallery and Gardens Gift Shop

MB features a nonprofit organization every month. If you know of a nonprofit that is making a difference here in Memphis, we want to know about it! Let us know by nominating them here.

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