A Houston grandmother is taking neighborly love to the next level. She’s on a mission to help children in her community thrive and wants to expand her efforts by learning new digital skills. Thanks to a recent surprise, she’s closer than ever.
Cheryl Cook launched Creating Positive Minds 14 years ago at the Kingswood Village Apartments off Mangum Road. Cook, her two adult daughters, and supporters help provide school supplies and necessities to area kids – things like backpacks, combs, and toothbrushes.
“We didn’t want them to ask no one for anything,” Cook said. “We just help. Hands on. Whatever they need, we’re there. The children are very excited. They appreciate everything. What they take from it … they will pay it forward. Where’s that extra person who cares? Who’s willing to go that extra mile? It teaches them to give back. It teaches them to help others and have empathy.”
Cook estimated they’ve helped hundreds of children over the years. She launched a community book club called Superheroes Book Club in May. Tutors are at the event to help motivate and encourage children to read. This is near and dear to Cook’s heart. She proudly talks about her 4-year-old grandson Jayvon and how much she loves being present in his life.
While Cook works to provide essentials to her community, she’s realized she needs something essential as well – digital skills. She said she’s not a tech person but she’s eager to learn things like typing word documents, accessing resources on the Internet, and making presentations on the computer. She recently won a laptop at an Xfinity event at her apartment complex. She hopes the new device will help her expand her volunteerism and reach even more children.
“The computer that I was bless with through Xfinity, it’s going to help a lot. It’s going to teach me not to be fearful of the computer,” Cook said with optimism. “It’s going to help me strategize and learn new things.”