Houston Forward Times

23 May 2014 Written by  Jeffrey L. Boney

Houston Forward Times Celebrates An Outstanding Mother!

 Congrats to Andrea Cook, 52, a resident of Sunnyside, was selected as the winner of our Houston Forward Times (HFT) Mother’s Day Treasure Chest contest. Several of Cook’s daughters were on hand to celebrate with her, including Erica Cook, who submitted the entry on behalf of her mother.

In order to celebrate and show our appreciation for so many outstanding mothers, we asked the community to submit a letter, in one and a half pages or less and with a photo included, and tell us what makes their MOM so very special.

It was such a difficult decision, seeiandrea editng that we had so many wonderful entries, with so many outstanding mothers to honor, but Ms. Cook was chosen after Erica Cook submitted a moving entry that had the entire HFT committee in tears.

In her submission, Erica wrote, "I am so proud of my mother. She is the most selfless person I know. She has never had a decent paying job, but will still give the shirt off her back to anyone. I love and appreciate the values she instilled in us a mother. She sacrificed and made sure we had everything we needed. I love my mother and hope you consider her for this honor."

Andrea Cook not only birthed 5 biological children, but also took on the responsibility of raising her niece and nephew after discovering her sister was addicted to crack cocaine. Four of Cook’s siblings are addicted to crack cocaine, as well as her niece. Cook raised those 7 children in a 3 bedroom house, where she continued to provide 

for her entire family, while seeking to obtain gainful employment. Cook started off on welfare, but was able to get a job, but it was barely enough to take care of a household of 8 people, as a single mother.

 Andrea Cook is 2014 Forward Times Mother’s Day Treasure Chest Winner.

Cook has stopped drinking and given her life to God so that she can be a better example for her grandkids. She keeps her grandkids on the weekend and takes them to church with her, while also doing everything she can to stay involved in her grandkids’ school activities. She has enrolled in her second year of college at Houston Community College, where she is studying to be a nurse. Cook, who could not even turn on a computer when she began, wants to utilize the God-given passion and experience she has a caregiver, to do the same as a career and get paid for the same thing she has done so sacrificially for others year after year.

The Mother’s Day Treasure Chest gift package included a: Flat Screen Television, Professional Photo Shoot, Full Massage Session, Cosmetic Makeover and Consultation, Hair Make-Over, $100 Grocery Gift Card, AMC Movie Passes, $100 Gas Card and One-Year Subscription to the Houston Forward Times.

“I just thank God for being selected for this, because I don’t ask for much,” said Cook. “It was just so shocking for me to know that my daughter felt that way about me and that she chose to give me my flowers now, while I could still smell them. It is an honor and a privilege.” 

The HFT staff has been forever touched and moved to tears by Andrea Cook’s story, and that is why it is with great conviction that we can boldly declare that she was unanimously selected by the 2014 Mother’s Day Treasure Chest committee and that we made the right choice.
  

Congratulations to our winner Ms. Andrea Cook and on behalf of the HFT, enjoy your Mother’s Day Treasure Chest gift package! Special thanks to our sponsors Jared Gilmore – J Raphael’s Photography, Janice Prevost – Ja Pre’ Cosmetics, Val Weeks – Assuring Hands Massage Events and Jackie Arnold – Own It Beauty Bar.