If you visit The Magdalen House, you’ve likely met Sandra Looney. Sandra is a familiar face at Maggie’s, and you’ll find her here many days out of the week. Whether she’s volunteering at the front desk, dropping off candy and items from the House Needs list, or sponsoring newly sober women, Sandra is one of the many women finding a solution at Maggie’s.

“God’s presence is in The Magdalen House. The girls in the house, including me, seek humility and come to learn through the 12-Steps that we are no longer running the show. We come to feel God’s power, love, and His way of life. We begin a new spiritual and healing journey at Maggie’s. We will be forever grateful for the free gift from God and Maggie’s. Miracles happen there.”
– Sandra Looney
March 2019 Social Detox Alumna

When Sandra Found Maggie’s

When Sandra realized that she was an alcoholic and desperately wanted help, she reached out to a recovered alcoholic friend for help. This friend told Sandra that the free Social Detox Program at Maggie’s would be a great fit for her. “What kind of treatment is free?” Sandra wondered, but she trusted her friend’s advice. “I had seen where she had gone – from a very dark spot to a happy, free life full of life. I wanted that.”

Sandra had tried to get sober on her own before asking her friend for help, but nothing worked. “[I prayed] for God to put a new chip in my head so I could stop drinking. [I took] Ambien in the afternoon so I wouldn’t drink as much and [would] sleep my morning drinking away so I could wake up and drink more. [I tried] to stay busy and [make] commitments that, many times, I didn’t keep due to my drinking.” Finally, at Maggie’s, Sandra found a solution to her alcoholism. For the first time in her life she learned about her disease and instead of trying to stay sober, she received tools that allowed her to experience recovery. “To me, being recovered means that I have been restored to sanity. I was once sober for 18 days. It was not fun. After 18 days I felt that I didn’t have a drinking problem. If I could go for 18 days then surely, I am not and alcoholic. Then the dreaded mental obsession kicked in. So, I drank. I thought I would limit myself to 2 glasses…well, I couldn’t stop at two. My drinking became more progressive.”

Today, she is able to look her husband, children, grandchildren, friends, and other alcoholic women straight in the eye with love, tolerance, patience, and understanding. Her life is full and complete, and she enjoys having real fun with her husband and family now that she is no longer separated from them by her drinking, as she was for many years. She is living her life not for herself, but for others. “I have God’s grace…God is doing for me what I can’t do for myself.”

“I am grateful for Maggie’s. It is a free gift given to me. Free! We had 48 meetings in two weeks. God lives in that house. I know for sure that learning to turn my will to God honestly and completely and the tools that I obtained at Maggie’s saved my life. I have been reborn.”


When you invest in the life of an alcoholic woman, you help her family, her place of employment, and the community as a whole.

yes – count me in