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L. Cool

A product of Melrose High School in the heart of Orange Mound, L. Cool earned her unique nickname playing basketball. Because of her moves on the court, friends assigned the handle Lisa Cool, which morphed into L. Cool.

L. Cool dreamed of playing basketball beyond high school, but a knee injury shattered that dream. After high school, Cool gave birth to a daughter. She attended two semesters of college, then dropped out. Much of her time was spent getting high. “I used get high right here on this porch,” Cool says, referring to the house that is now My Cup of Tea.

When her daughter was 4-years old, L. Cool made a gut-wrenching, but necessary decision. She gave up custody of her daughter to her daughter's father and entered rehab. In fact, L. Cool enrolled in a rehab program three times before she was finally clean. On November 1, 1996, L. Cool earned her sobriety and has remained sober for almost 25 years.

L. Cool eventually reunited with her daughter, and it was that daughter that introduced her to My Cup of Tea. Cool was working two jobs, barely making ends meet, and received only a .20 raise in 7 years of work. Since joining the My Cup of Tea staff, L. Cool says life is less stressful, she stopped smoking and feels like she's part of something important.

"Coming to work isn't about the paycheck all the time. It's a joy to come to work," says L. Cool. At My Cup of Tea, Cool is the keeper of the grounds, maintenance staff, and a budding refinisher of antique furniture. My Cup of Tea was recently awarded Yard of the Month, because of L. Cool’s diligence. L. Cool has learned a new craft. “I love the woodworking. I feel better about it than basketball,” L.Cool says. “I’ve learned how to pick out real antiques and how to refinish them. I’ve learned a new trade.”