Some of our customers and supporters already know Bretta from her short video clips, “Tea Tips.” But like all of the women who work at My Cup of Tea, Bretta is a complex and extraordinary woman with a story to tell.
Born and raised in Queens, New York (She still has the accent to prove it.) Bretta dreamed of one day being an architect because she liked to draw. Before summer reading was routinely assigned by schools, her mother dispensed texts Bretta was required to read each summer. Once in her early teens, the list included the Mario Puzo classic, The Godfather, Bretta recalls sheepishly explaining to friends why she was in possession of the book. But things changed for Bretta.
“Like anybody else, I made bad choices,” says Bretta. “One bad choice made in the twinkle of any eye can affect the rest of your life. For me it was drugs. I was addicted to drugs for 25 years.”
Bretta laments the time wasted but has learned not to dwell on regrets.
“Thank God for Jesus! Every misstep I took was a step along the path of understanding someone else’s misery. Anything you go through He can use for you to be able to help someone else get through,” Bretta says.
Bretta’s journey with My Cup of Tea began by trying to help a friend in need. She had pleaded with her friend to seek help at the Neighborhood Christian Center (NCC) for domestic abuse. The NCC Women’s Resource House at the corner of Carnes and Semmes is the house that is now My Cup of Tea. Her friend was hesitant to ask for help, so Bretta went to inquire about what services might be available. That’s when she learned that NCC was a referral source for My Cup of Tea and that job training was offered there. Bretta was impressed, but she had a job and was there for another purpose, or so she thought.
A short time later, Bretta’s life changed again. Her 5-year-old granddaughter came to live with her, and then Bretta lost her job. She returned to the House for training and was offered a job with My Cup of Tea. Five years later, Bretta is now a Tea Life instructor – the course that teaches all My Cup of Tea employees about the products they are packaging and selling.
“At the House there are women of all ages and at different stages in life,” Bretta contemplates. “There is someone here to help you get through whatever you’re going through. People know your flaws and love you anyway.”