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New student organization supports Thistle Farms

Belmont Thistle Farmers hosted “A Night of Songs and Stories” at the Gabhart Student Center Thursday to celebrate and fundraise for the women of the nonprofit Thistle Farms.

The Belmont Thistle Farmers is a campus organization dedicated to advocating and fundraising for Thistle Farms. “A Night of Song and Stories” was their first fundraising event with the aim of educating the Belmont community on Thistle Farms’ mission.

With the support of Belmont and other charitable organizations around Nashville, Thistle Farms helps women who have survived addiction, trafficking and prostitution by providing them with housing, employment and empowerment.

“Every dollar we raise goes toward helping get the next woman off the streets,” said Anslee Lake, president of Belmont Thistle Farmers. “We want to put faces with the names that we are fundraising for. That’s important to us.”

The fundraising event featured songwriters Jake Wesley Rogers, Chynna Sherrod and Annika Bennett who sang love songs in honor of Thistle Farm’s motto “Love Heals.”

In addition to the admission price of $5, students were given the opportunity to buy Thistle Farms’ products. The proceeds of the event will go to providing recent Thistle Farm graduates with gift cards so they can purchase Christmas presents for their families.

At the event, Thistle Farm graduates Chelle Waller and Katrina Robertson spoke about what the organization meant to them.

“You realize that the world is not just full of people trying to harm you,” said Robertson. “That there are good people who really care about you in the world.”

Waller and Robertson were best friends on the streets who were taken in by Thistle Farm’s residential program, which provides struggling women with a place to stay and the means to get back on their feet.

“Without this, I don’t know what I would have done,” said Waller.

Waller and Robertson expressed their immense gratitude to all the students at the event and the way they’re helping with Thistle Farms’ mission of healing women.

“You are a part of that movement and what we are doing,” Robertson said.

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This article written by Kendall Crawford. 

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