'Tis the season of giving, and holiday shoppers are checking off their holiday shopping lists on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but the true meaning of the holiday season comes to life on Giving Tuesday. Giving Tuesday is a global generosity movement unleashing the power of radical generosity. Created in 2012 and celebrated on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, it is a day that encourages people to do good by offering their time, a donation, or the power of their voice to support philanthropic causes throughout the holiday season. The Magdalen House, a nonprofit organization, helping women achieve sobriety and sustain recovery from alcoholism at no cost and based on 12-Step spiritual principles, has benefitted from many generous community supporters over their 35 years in existence and is proud to share how three generations of women have worked to grant miracles for alcoholic women in recovery.
Alicia Cassity is a founding member of The Magdalen House. The Magdalen House was created in June 1987 by four women after realizing an imperative need: there was no safe place in North Texas for an alcoholic woman with no money and no insurance to get help for her alcoholism. Alicia and the other women drove to Houston in March of 1987 when they heard of a facility doing just that so they could create a similar organization in Dallas. Since its founding on Lovers Lane, Alicia has supported The Magdalen House in many ways.
Alicia shares, "Sharon and I spent the first night in the house… and I don't think we slept a wink all that night. Wondering, 'Oh my God, is it going to work?'. It was five in the morning — something like that when we got a call from the 24-Hour Club. 'Are y'all open?', 'Yep,' 'Got a woman for ya.' 'Bring her on.'."
Laurie Evans met a group of other loved ones of alcoholics in her Al-Anon group. In the group, they studied the Big Book and worked the 12-steps together, but they felt there needed to be something more for new members. The group believed there needed to be a place for a first touch point for those who loved an alcoholic- in recovery or not- to learn more and get better connected with others going through the same things they were. Laurie and the other founders of The Magdalen House's Family Support group went to Lisa Kroencke, Executive Director of The Magdalen House, and asked if they could begin the group there.
Laurie says, “There were plenty of times I would come and sit down, and nobody would show up...and sometimes we didn't have enough room in the room...I have a lot of peace today and so do many committee members. We live with a lot of peace even though we all live with alcoholics - some recovered, some unrecovered. It not only fulfills our 12th step, but it is a desire to give back something that was so freely given to us."
Carolyn Ross graduated from The Magdalen House's First Step and Next Step program while at Redwood Circle and has been a huge supporter and volunteer at The Magdalen House ever since. She volunteers by chairing meetings, staying overnight with the women in First Step, helping with several events, and serving on the Maggie's Women's Group Committee, to name a few. Volunteers like Carolyn keep Maggie's open day in and day out.
According to Carolyn, "When they moved into the new house on Gaston, they had a registry for everything the house needed. One of the things that came to me that was so important to buy was a bed for the house. That bed was discontinued when we were there to unpack and put everything together. So, the house had to purchase the other 19 beds in a different style. There was one bed, the one that I had donated, that was a little bit taller than all the other beds, and they had kept it. For me, it's such a blessing when I overnight, when I come in and do dorm check, or when I wake up the ladies and see that bed. It reminds me of what The Magdalen House did for me and how it touched many lives. It's just a constant reminder of the miracle that Maggie's gave me.”
Support for alcoholic women across D/FW and beyond continues to grow. According to a recent study, women increased their drinking by 41% more than before the pandemic. Today, there are over 250,000 alcoholic women in D/FW alone. Less than 1 in 15 alcoholic women (only 6.9%) will seek formal help. Because women face more stigmatization, shame, family responsibilities, and socioeconomic barriers than men, they frequently have co-occurring disorders and are less likely to seek treatment. If you're an alcoholic who can't stop drinking or a concerned loved one of an alcoholic, the first step in recovery is education and access to resources. In North Texas, The Magdalen House is not only a leader in education around alcoholism, but also provides in-house services, group meetings, structured programs, family support groups, and tools designed to help grow and sustain recovery.
Give the gift of a miracle at The Magdalen House this holiday season by making a donation of any amount.
- Donations of $100 help provide 10 Big Books, the curriculum used for women enrolled in The Magdalen House programs.
- Donations of $850 will sponsor one women's completion of the Next Step Program.
- Donations of $1,800 will sponsor one women's entire 14-day residential stay in our First Step Program.
Donations from generous supporters help to ensure that The Magdalen House can continue providing no-cost services to alcoholic women.
The Magdalen House is a nonprofit organization helping women achieve sobriety and sustain recovery from alcoholism at no cost and based on 12-Step spiritual principles. Founded in Dallas in 1987, The Magdalen House remains the only agency in the Dallas-Fort Worth area to offer comprehensive recovery services – without insurance or state funding – 100% free of charge. The Magdalen House is committed to helping alcoholic women achieve long-term, sustainable recovery through spiritually based, comprehensive programming. For more information visit www.magdalenhouse.org.