‘It’s for the kids’

Cook Ministries hosts fourth annual Restore Love event at the Cullman County Child Development Center

Two young boys observe a Cullman Police Department helicopter Friday at the Cullman County Child Development Center. (Maggie Darnell for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – Cullman County Child Development Center (CDC) students had the chance to get up close and personal with local first responders Friday afternoon at the fourth annual Restore Love event, hosted by Cook Ministries.

“It’s for the kids; it’s really just a matter of everybody that has a heart for kids in the community…I know all it seems I do is just organize it, but it’s really a matter of just talking to people and asking them to come out and be a part of this,” said Cook Ministries Chaplain Karen Cook. “Everybody loves to come out, and blessing these kids is just, we get more of a blessing and probably more of a smile than most of these kids do. We really do, it’s just great. It’s just a fun day!”

CDC students not only got to meet the men and women from some of Cullman County’s emergency responder organizations, but they also had the chance to explore things like fire trucks, ambulances and helicopters.

Said Cook, “It brings some things that they wouldn’t normally see or maybe not even see, except in a bad situation, and they need to know that the fire department, police officers and ambulances are here to help them.”

Hanceville-based Cook Ministries’ stated mission is to “restore love.” The nonprofit has five rules:

  1. “To bring something special back, to choose a new beginning.”
  2. “To always give second chances.”
  3. “To replace rejection with acceptance through deliverance.”
  4. “To find our value within.”
  5. “To always find God, ourselves and others.”

First responders and other agencies who participated at the CDC Friday included the Vinemont-Providence Volunteer Fire Department, Cullman County Sanitation, Alabama State Troopers, Cullman EMS, Cullman Police Department, Cullman County Sheriff’s Office, the Cullman chapter of the Christian Motorcyclists Association and Wal-Mart.

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