Why are you starting a Chapter…. In Williamsburg, VA

Hello, my name is Debbie Cook and I live in the northern end of Williamsburg, Virginia. I grew up in a large family and was always surrounded by family, friends and neighbors. That was the norm when I was young and continued as I grew older. It was like a dependable, loving community where everyone looked out and cared for everyone else. The dividing line between who belonged to what family in the neighborhood was a shade of gray instead of black or white. It just didn’t matter when it came to love, care and support. We would constantly look out for each other and knew we were being looked out for especially when parents were not able to.

When I was in high school, I joined the school chorus. I loved singing the songs and still do. I was not much for doing solos, but enjoyed it more as part of a larger group.  There was a song that we sang, so many, many, years ago, that remains with me even to this day. It aligns with my past, present and future and its words are so deeply rooted in my Spirit. It goes like this “No man is an island, no man stands alone, each man’s joy is joy to me and each man’s grief is my own. We need one another so I will defend, each man as my brother, each man as my friend. I saw the people gather, I heard the music start, the song that they were singing, is ringing in my heart. No man is an island, way out in the blue; we all look to the one above, for our strength to renew. When I help my brother, then I know that I, plant the seed of friendship that will never die”. What an awesome testimony if we could all step out into that challenge on a daily basis.

I always wanted a large family but was only blessed with two of my own –one of which was adopted as an infant. I raised them both with the same core values as I. I have always extended myself and family in an effort to increase the sphere of love and support to others. I love children and can’t imagine any one of them being raised to feel that they are not a part of a family and without love. This concept that no man, women or child is an island is my mantra. I want the children to feel that they are part of a larger family not created by man. That there is a community in Williamsburg, Virginia that is constantly praying for them, seeking support for them and here, though not in person, to help care for their needs. One heart, one spirit, one vision, we are the body of Christ.