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Thistle Hills: A Restorative Path 

Tiffany Starkes drives over an hour to get to work. She does not do it for a paycheck – she makes the trip because she changes the world every day. At the Church of the Trinity in Coatesville, PA, Tiffany works in partnership with Rev. Sherry Deets to help transform the lives of women who have been trafficked and addicted. The program they lead – called Thistle Hills – seeks to empower women by providing a 24-month, rent-free, home environment based on a community living model for up to four women at a time. Tiffany and Rev. Deets focus on holistic healing and empowerment for women to achieve sober, honest, self-sufficient lives through:

  1. Transformation:      

        The healing power of love allows for flourishing and growth; transforming challenging pasts into beautiful futures.

2. Community         

         The Thistle Hills community is marked by hard work, mutual accountability, and radical

         hospitality. The organic dots of the thistle blossom this program was modeled after indicate a sense of tight-knit community, support, and healing.

The program runs for two consecutive years; the first months are spent focusing on mental health, then the women move to address their addictions and associated traumas. The program provides both traditional resources like counseling, as well as expressive art therapy, sound baths, spiritual time, arts, and excursions to movies and recreational activities. The goal is to build confidence and self-worth through enjoyment of life. To conclude the women are offered job skills training and resources to jump-start their new lives. 

Women from all walks of life and all over the state of PA have requested admittance to the Thistle Hills program. While the program operates from Trinity Church, Tiffany and Rev. Sherry do not push any one denomination of faith. Rather, the idea is to achieve genuine self-love and teach the women to value themselves as human beings who have gifts to offer the world. 

Rev. Sherry Deets founded Thistle Hills in Coatesville after she returned from a trip to Nashville, TN, where she was inspired by the original program: Thistle Farms. Click here to learn more more about the program origins and Thistle Farms.  

Thistle Hills is funded entirely through grants and donations. In fact, Tiffany and Rev. Sherry try NOT to participate with any insurance carriers so they will face less restrictions. Many major medical plans will only cover limited counseling, mental health, and rehabilitative care. Thistle Hills’ two-year agenda well surpasses most coverage; to offer such a unique program model, Thistle Hills cannot participate with medical insurance. The mission of Thistle Hills has proved powerful enough to encourage donations from both the community and past residents. Women who were able to transform their own lives often feel moved to give back to others currently in need.

In addition to funds, the program would greatly appreciate physical donations of shampoo, soap, feminine hygiene products, toilet paper, paper towels, detergent pods, zip lock bags, medical gloves, and gift cards for excursions such as movies or sight-seeing attractions like Longwood Gardens. Volunteers are welcome! If you would like to donate funds or physical supplies from the above list, those gifts can be coordinated with the program director Tiffany Starkes, or Rev. Sherry Deets. Contact information is as follows:

Church of the Trinity is a congregation rooted in the faith and love of Christ, unified in diversity, seeking to grow and nourish the Trinity family and our Coatesville community. One way we do this is through the Thistle Hills program. Please consider helping this important ministry care for our women in need.

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