"Memphis surpassed Salt Lake City this year to rank as the most generous metropolitan area in the United States, giving almost $6 of every $100 earned to philanthropy. With this in mind, the Memphis Moms Blog wants to feature a local Nonprofit every month. There are so many amazing organizations in our city dedicated to looking out for the well being of all Memphians, and we want to feature them. If you know of a Nonprofit we should feature, Let us know by nominating them here!
As we drove down Semmes St. in the Orange Mound neighborhood to visit with the sweet women of My Cup of Tea, I kept my eyes peeled for some sort of storefront. I’m not super familiar with this part of town. Being a residential area with no other stores around, I thought maybe we had the address wrong. To my surprise, we were right where we were supposed to be. We pulled up to a quaint little house filled with some amazing people who are doing some really incredible things.
My Cup of Tea is truly a hidden gem of Memphis. Not only do they have a great product, but they are doing work that is changing lives for the better in their community and in the City of Memphis. This nonprofit is a small business of tea packaging and distribution. They started out in 2006 as a marketplace ministry to serve the growing specialty tea niche market in the Memphis area. Over the years, their purpose has evolved and transforming My Cup of Tea into a social enterprise in Orange Mound. My Cup of Tea now exists not only to sell and distribute tea, but to train and provide employment to women in the local community. The good people at people at My Cup of Tea take women who have been extremely impacted by poverty and other unfortunate situations, and they provide an employment option that would otherwise not be available to them.
Tragically, jobs for the generationally poor women in Memphis hardly exist. Low-skilled women, no matter how motivated, do not have access to jobs offered beyond walking distance. Transportation is a key factor for the poor. There are few, if any, industries in Orange Mound. My Cup of Tea is now providing that opportunity that has been void for far too long.
What was most impressive to me, was that they don't just give out jobs or leave their employees to figure things out for themselves after they've been hired. There is a greater purpose to equip these women in order for them to truly better their lives even after they leave. Before the women can even be employed, they spend months being trained and educated not only in their Tea 101 course, but also in computer literacy, financial training, GED preparation, and life recovery. Training takes place just a couple of blocks down the road at their counterpart's location called, The House.
Each woman who desires to work at My Cup of Tea goes through an extensive interview process which is taken very seriously. This is huge for the girls who are looking to make this a starting point in furthering their career or education; it allows them the opportunity to start building a resume as well as gain the experience of going through the process of being interviewed, etc. After the job is acquired, employees are assessed and placed in an appropriate position according to their skillset; however, each woman is required to learn every job there is should they need to fill in for someone else at any point in time.
As we sat and talked with the women of My Cup of Tea, we were privileged enough to hear some of the extraordinary stories of where some of these women have come from and where they are now. I couldn't help but feel an overwhelming sense of family the entire time we were there. None of the women are related to each other by blood, but they are without a doubt, a family. Each has experienced serious trials in their lives and they are all working hard to overcome their personal life struggles in order to provide for their families and make a better life for themselves. They are walking that road together, thanks to My Cup of Tea.
On top of doing awesome things in their community, My Cup of Tea distributes and sells the highest quality of tea available in the world. They are huge advocates for educating more people about tea and its health benefits. You can purchase and read all about the different types available as well as their health benefits, on their website. They also have come up with their own blends and flavors with catchy Memphis titles like Bluff City Chai and Blue Suede Shoes Blueberry Tea. Their line of teapots and other accessories is adorable and largely crafted by hand in-house.
If you want to support a phenomenal cause and one amazing organization that is actually making a difference in our city, I urge you to check out My Cup of Tea and share this information with your fellow Memphians! Really, I have only touched the surface of their story. Their website is packed with stories and information as well as videos that really allow you to experience My Cup of Tea in a more personal way. So check it out!
If you are interested in purchasing tea or other products, you can purchase online or click HERE for a list of local stores that currently carry My Cup of Tea products. They also can be found at many local farmer's markets in and around the city!
MMB features a nonprofit organization every month. If you know of a nonprofit that is making a difference here in Memphis, we want to know about it! Let us know by nominating them here.