Saturday, December 14, 2019
“The difference between a broken community and a thriving one is the PRESENCE OF WOMEN WHO ARE VALUED. ” - Michelle Obama
I think of Mary, the mother of Jesus , at this time of year. Her value to the world is beyond measure, but it was not so at the time of her pregnancy.
Mary could have been one of our neighbors in Orange Mound. Her circumstances in Nazareth, 2000 years ago are similar in some ways to the many women we employ .
at Saturday, December 14, 2019
Tuesday, December 10, 2019
My Cup of Tea is located at 3028 Carnes Avenue in the heart of the historic Orange Mound community in Memphis. We provide on-the-job training and skills development for women. (Photo: Ariel Cobbert, The Commercial Appeal)
If you've had the opportunity to browse through the pages of The Commercial Appeal recently, you may have seen a familiar name or two. My Cup of Tea was recently featured in our native town's largest newspaper.
READ THE ARTICLE
at Tuesday, December 10, 2019
Thursday, November 7, 2019
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2019 Christmas Open House at My Cup of Tea
My Cup of Tea is in the business of growing more than tea. We also work to cultivate spiritual and physical growth among the women in our poverty-ridden neighborhood. We are an interdependent community of women dignifying our space and strengthening our souls. Our blessings are shared amongst us.
All of our sisters enthusiastically serve one another in...
at Thursday, November 7, 2019
Sunday, October 20, 2019
I know sanctification is conferred to those patiently tolerating and quietly mourning the brokenness in our neighborhood.
Our lamentable is a heart-torn message to city dwellers, "movers and shakers," who are young and impassioned to open and step through the door that welcomes all to Orange Mound. That door has had a “please come on in” sign for over 10 years.
There awaits a gold medal for the one who wins the war on our poverty…. but the battle is far...
at Sunday, October 20, 2019
Thursday, October 10, 2019
I know sanctification is conferred to those patiently tolerating and quietly mourning the brokenness in our neighborhood of Orange Mound. Our lamentable is a heart-torn message to city dwellers, movers and shakers who are young and impassioned to open and step through our door that welcomes all to Orange Mound. That door has had a “Please come on in” sign for more than 10 years.
Surely there awaits a gold medal for the one who wins the war on our poverty, but the battle...
at Thursday, October 10, 2019
Wednesday, September 4, 2019
Those who need the most assistance in Orange Mound are often the least visible to those who might help. Any one of us can put develop blinders to the needs. Anyone in need can be blind to the resources that exist.
Throughout our community you can find boarded windows and double-bolted doors enclosing darkened rooms with adults and children living inside. Orange Mound is behind enemy lines. The majority of our neighbors are single moms with 3 to 5 children....
at Wednesday, September 4, 2019
Thursday, August 1, 2019
We have had a deeply disappointing blow recently. One of our employees chose weed over work. She had confessed that she was on drugs when she came into the House for her first interview. We told her a drug screen is given at the end of the 6-week training period, and she said she would be clean by then. She was. Everyone welcomed her into the sweet fellowship of the House. We gave clothes, meals, and money to pay her utilities. She welcomed prayer and instructions on budgeting....
at Thursday, August 1, 2019
Monday, July 15, 2019
Drink, Food, and Favor Ideas
Baby showers and gender reveal parties are becoming more and more popular. With all of the creative ideas and pinterest boards to look at, it can become overwhelming to stand out without breaking your bank. At My Cup of Tea, our teas, teapots, and sets are the perfect way to be different while supporting a local business that is doing good for our community.
My Cup of Tea specializes in making a variety of delicious...
at Monday, July 15, 2019
Wednesday, July 3, 2019
Friday, I visited two of our neighbors in need. I was welcomed in to offer a little encouragement. Hospitality reigns on our block in Orange Mound.
One was applying Clorox to her children’s bedding to stay ahead of bed bugs, and the state. Bugs in residence rival the roof-rats and roaches trying to get in. Windows are in place, but the glass is missing. Too many friends and family have keys to the back door, which really could be pushed off broken hinges easily with no need for a...
at Wednesday, July 3, 2019
Friday, June 14, 2019
Tattoos are more than words, names, and pictures for so many individuals, including many of our Orange Mound sisters. Some are simple and straightforward, bearing the names of their children and grandchildren or those they’ve lost along their journey, while others are embellished with colors and intricate flourishes bringing their love of flowers, nature, and art to life.
“Did that hurt?” I ask, knowing well it must have, but wanting to provide an opportunity for her to...
at Friday, June 14, 2019
Sunday, March 24, 2019
I know I have been called to this location… much as Paul was called to cross the Aegean.. I have obeyed and crossed the tracks that wall in Orange Mound on the northern boundary.
I’ve encountered brokenness I cannot repair:
Sidewalks crumbling under the feet of the women walking home
Indecent housing collapsing in a day with a simple push from the bulldozer, ambitious to tear down but with no plan of restoration or construction
A vacant lot littered with pick-up...
at Sunday, March 24, 2019
Wednesday, May 2, 2018
“It was a God moment.”
That’s how Debbie Hert, executive manager of My Cup of Tea, described recent events at the opening prayer she conducts daily with staff before work begins.
“I had told the workers that we would be getting two new employees and that they would fit in just fine,” Hert began. When the new hires arrived, Hert and the other 10 MCOT employees learned that Charlesetta Ferguson, a MCOT employee since November 2016, and LCool McClain, one of...
at Wednesday, May 2, 2018
Wednesday, March 7, 2018
Patricia Craft has a deep sense of satisfaction. Her calmness is evident to all.
“I have a good life. I thank God. I got my own place. I got God,” she said.
Craft, 39, joined My Cup of Tea in April 2017. “I label tea. I weigh tea. I can do everything, but my favorite job is labeling the tea boxes,” she said.
Craft remembers starting her new job and being nervous and uptight. “Now I’m speaking and talking to everybody and laughing,” she said....
at Wednesday, March 7, 2018
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Over a period of about two years, April Powell became associated with The House at Orange Mound and then became employed at My Cup of Tea (MCOT). The slow process—similar to the waiting time while tea steeps—changed her life.
“I moved to Orange Mound from South Memphis and stayed with my children’s father. I’m a stay-at-home mom,” began the petite, attractive, 38-year-old mother of a five-year-old girl and three-year-old boy. “I was sitting around...
at Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Thursday, July 27, 2017
Cheryl Henderson is learning the tea business at My Cup of Tea and loving it. “I can do every job,” she said proudly. “Customer service, bookkeeping, and administration.”
Henderson also treasures the work environment. “It’s very soothing. There’s a calming voice here.”
Henderson, 53, was interviewed in March, a particularly good and life-changing time for her. A month earlier she was the grandmother of Julian, an active three-year-old. But...
at Thursday, July 27, 2017