What Is ‘ACT’: ACT stands for A Cause for Tea, a local Christian nonprofit organization with a global cause. ACT assists women and children living in dire situations in Nicaragua. Union County native Rhonda Griffin attended a mission trip with her children and witnessed people of all ages living and working in landfills with no skills or education to empower themselves and upgrade their living conditions. Most of them were women and children, some orphans. Rhonda returned to Union County prayerfully considering ways to help. After the trip, Rhonda and the Griffin family began to share what they witnessed with friends and churches, and started the process of raising money to create a place where women and children could receive clean living conditions, receive great news about God’s love, and joyfully learn skills for better employment. How did they bring the supporters together and spread the word? Rhonda loves to host tea parties. She and her friends put together beautiful events where folks gathered to learn about the Nicaraguan need. Guests who came for tea and entertainment were touched by the story Rhonda told. Contributors, workers, and a prayer team were recruited to support the cause.
ACT supports and partners with local Union County ministries, and this network funnels community awareness and outreach to the global cause in Nicaragua. Rhonda works with women she recruits from House of Pearls, a Union County faith-based organization that shelters and assists women recovering from addiction. These ladies learn skills to become employed and regain control of their lives. They help the mission abroad by sewing, sorting, packaging, and fulfilling orders placed online. The retail components to this network are an online store, and a popup retail store. Hand crafted items are made by the Nicaraguans and sold through the ACT Teas and Gifts store, along with loose leaf teas and tea accessories. The organization raises funds through donations, selling products, and hosting tea events.
What is the ACT Tea House: As ACT grows, the organization needs to create a brick and mortar store open to the public regular business hours to sell the items sewn in Nicaragua, and the teas which are locally packaged. ACT also partners with a local ministry called HELP Pregnancy Center to raise funds for the purpose of helping local mothers choose and support life. ACT has a desire to offer study and emotional support groups for young women who have encountered painful choices or need reassurance regarding unplanned pregnancies. A tea house with beautiful gathering spaces is a perfect setting to minister to local women.
The ACT prayer team and board of directors have been looking for a ‘home’ for the ministry for a couple of years. Last summer, we ceased the opportunity to purchase the historic ‘Blakeney House’ in the historic district of Monroe on East Franklin Street. This spacious house has the indoor and outdoor areas we need to create spaces for learning and entertaining, ministering locally, and selling products to benefit the Nicaraguan project. Once a restaurant, the property includes a commercial kitchen attached to the house, and parking lot for guests. The ACT team is so excited to acquire this beautiful home for the ministry where guests will be welcomed to shop, relax, enjoy tea, and receive God’s word through studies, enrichment classes and work opportunities.
How You Can Help: We need your help! The ACT Tea House opens in May, and there is so much work to do to repair, paint, and stage the house for our Grand Opening. We are starting with the interior rooms of the house, and as the weather warms up, we address the exterior repairs and painting around porches, siding, windows and the roof. We will need help in the yard and garden as well. We have an immediate need is for carpenters, painters and interior floor refinishing.
Want to help? Let us know!
How To Get Involved: We have an organized list of tasks and a project manager on site every day, with an online sign-up system for planning and scheduling the work. If you are interested in helping, contact the person who sent you the link to this website page. We will add your name to our volunteer list and help you schedule time(s) to come to the job site and help.
We will furnish materials, water, and snacks for the workers at the site. The house is large enough for volunteers to practice safe social distancing, and we are careful with the schedule so the spaces are not crowded with workers. Thank you for your interest in the ACT Tea House.
Overview: This project is important to a local neighborhood in Monroe, a community of Union County residents recovering from addiction, women who are making important choices to bring life into our world, and women and children seeking hope and assistance in Nicaragua. This beautiful property will welcome all kinds of people. Visitors will come seeking to purchase beautiful gifts, enjoy tea and fellowship, and learn. We will partner with a government agency to offer enrichment courses in the arts and gardening to school aged children. We have big plans for this property and it will be exciting to help make the A Cause for Tea vision come to life.