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.
Having a steady job has changed Craft’s life. “My family sees it. They’re happy for me,” she said. Craft is proud of her children, three girls and a boy ranging in age from 10 to 20. “They’re respectful,” she said. In a practical way, working means that she can buy what her children need for school.
When asked, Craft described herself this way: “I’m a wonderful person.”
She then described a typical week like this: “I work. I go home and I cook. I do what a mother’s supposed to do. I get the girls’ clothes ready for the next day.”
Craft is an Orange Mound resident. She came to My Cup of Tea the usual way, through The House at Orange Mound, a non-profit women’s resource center down the street.
She met a House regular, Deborah Chalmers, a much loved woman known as the chief ambassador of The House. “Deborah asked me what I do. I said, ‘Nothing.’ Deborah told me to start coming to The House,” Craft said. She started taking classes like Work Life and Tea Life and completed them. Work Life, a set of 16 classes, focusses on work environment strategies. Tea Life is The House’s personal study of the history, classifications, science about, production of, and marketing strategies for tea.
“I passed the survey about working with food. I’m here,” said Craft, gesturing broadly with her hands, held high and outstretched. Looking around the office at My Cup of Tea, she smiled in satisfaction.
When asked to name her hobbies, she gave several. “I’m a good cook. I grew up in Arkansas and watched my grandmother and mother cook.” Two other things she likes to do are to help other people and to shop. With a smile she added that her three girls also like shopping.
“I really like riding the bus by myself and going to stores and looking around. I go out to eat by myself. I like buffets. I’m giving myself free time,” she said.
Does she have any advice for other women? “Yes. Come here to The House. Come to My Cup of Tea. Come and join the other women. Let God lead the way.”
- Robin Gallaher Branch