Magdalene’s Gifts Brings Hope


Deb Atchison

Magdalene’s Gift Shop raises funds and awareness for human trafficking in the area.

Kristen Thompson, Editor-in-Chief, Online

  The following article covers a topic that may be sensitive to some readers. Discretion is advised.

   In the closing months of 2021, Magdalene’s Gifts & Gatherings opened in the Midway area of Gulf Breeze.

   The goal of Magdalene’s is to end human trafficking and spread awareness regarding the subject to the community. All of Magdalene’s workers are volunteers and all of the proceeds from sales go towards human trafficking awareness.

   One of Magdalene’s board members, Vice President Deb Atchison, shared more details about the hopeful store and its message.

   “We are raising funds and awareness,” Atchison said. “In America, trafficking is a $42 billion a year industry.”

   Along with the gift shop, Magdalene’s, Inc. purchased their own house for victims of human sex trafficking to recover and rehabilitate.

   “We have purchased a home for three ladies; they will be with us for two years for trauma and reformed care,” Atchison said.

   For teenagers, Magdalene’s has a teen board, led by Atchison’s granddaughter, Amelia. The teen board has hosted yard sales to raise funds. They also meet monthly to prices items in the store before they are put out for sale.

   “The teen board is also a big part of spreading the word to other teens and help raise awareness,” Atchison shared. “To me, it begins in high school and middle school because that’s where a lot of girls are groomed at a young age and are forced into this.”

   The state of Florida ranks third in the United States in human trafficking, with a majority being human sex trafficking. Interstate 10, which stretches from Los Angeles, Calif., to Jacksonville, Fla., stands as a major human trafficking corridor.

   Atchison said that the biggest learning experience she had was “learning how prevalent sex trafficking is in our area.”

   “It’s not just in Gulf Breeze,” Atchison said. “In Navarre and Pensacola, it’s here.”

   Magdalene’s mainly sells housewarming products, such as candles, art pieces and books. They also have a jewelry collection, handmade by victims of sex trafficking. Atchison showed me some of the items sold in the store.

   “The Blessing Ring is our best seller and have these sweet little teddy bears. Art, jewelry and books are all donated from local people to raise funds.”

   Behind the store, Magdalene’s garden will harvest plants and foods, from roses to potatoes. In the future, a butterfly house and a stage for acoustic performances will be installed to spruce up the environment and bring more awareness to this issue.

   Magdalene’s Gifts & Gatherings is located at 3268 Fordham Parkway. For a deeper look into Magdalene’s goals, visit their website,