Daughters Of Zion CNPP Grantee Announces Deener Newberry – Widows and Widowers Matter As The DOZ CCNP Entrepreneur Of The Week- June 19 – June 25, 2022
Widows and Widowers Matter
Phone # (901) 331-4183
Years In Business: 3
Number of Employees: 1
As part of our follow-up to the progress the Daughters of Zion CNPP grantee is making within Memphis, Shelby County, and beyond- we are highlighting the weekly Entrepreneur of the Week award. When asked why Deener Newberry was selected as the entrepreneur of the week, Dr. Gerald Kiner, PhD declared, “ What an awesome woman of God. Min. Newberry is as real as it gets. Her vision is so unique just like her heart. I’ve never seen so much compassion and love for other people. I am so proud to know Deener. She is one of my most favorite people on the planet. All she does is think about how to make other people happy. She is the real deal.
Deener Newberry answered several questions for the entrepreneur of the week.
Q: Please tell us your full name, the name of your business, and how did you get your business started?
A: My name is Deener Newberry and I am the proud owner of Widows and Widowers Matter. I started my business, Widows and Widowers Matters, as just doing something at the church on Sunday’s and I wanted to reach out to our widows and widowers because I saw it was so many widows in the church, but we never had an opportunity to do anything for them. I had a luncheon for them and had a speaker that was a widower, and I think that really was overwhelming because we had widows of the same background, and things that they had been through for their spouse making a transition.
What I did the first year, I did the second year. All the funds came from someone donating the money to me, or I had others that would sponsor us for the Widows and Widowers Luncheon. When I did the second one, the Widows and Widowers Luncheon, we had widows in the church, and they wanted to invite other widows from other churches. And I said, that’s overwhelming right there. I asked my sister, who was there witnessing this, how she felt and she said, “Girl, you need to go ahead and get this in a grant, a business, because we have so many widows that need this assistance. They need something to want to help them and encourage them, because of the walk that they’re in now. There is a journey that widows go on and widowers. So, that’s what I came up with, Widows and Widowers matter.
Q: How long have you been a widow?
A: Well actually, I’m not a widow. It was just that I just love being around those women as widows, you know, because they have so much to share. Everyone always says, “Well, I thought you were a widow.” No, it was just what God put in my heart to do, and especially reading the part about how we should take care of our widows and our orphans. That really stuck to me and I said, God, we are gonna have to do better. I got to do better. And so, that’s when I started branching out, doing things for widows and widowers because they matter.
Q.What’s the response to those who you have touched in this awesome business?
A. Dr. Kiner, when I came here my first time, February 12th of this year, I was blown away to hear all the information that can be rendered from a grant on behalf of Widow and Widowers Matter. I got the information from you, and started just applying, and knowing that I wasn’t by myself to help them. When you hear a widow say, “Well, I miss my spouse. He used to do this.” Or the widower say, “My wife used to fix this.” I’m listening to this. And I’m going like, where is a church? I’m the church, but the assembly where we come. Anytime that I would have someone to call me, the widow would say, “Well, I just need somebody to come change my lightbulb,” because they are up in age, they need somebody. They’re afraid of getting up on a step ladder. They needed somebody to care for their landscape, they needed this, ’cause they were used to their spouse taking care of that, and doing everything.
The male spouses, they did everything. And so, they were just used to the spouse doing for them. So, I said, God, how can I help them? One of the things that I wanted to do is make sure the things that I had been putting out concerning the Widows and Widowers Matter, was something that was gonna stick, that you can adapt to and that you can help them, because you’re listening to them and they need you. and they need us.
And I know I want to do right by the Bible, because if it wasn’t in the word it wasn’t meant for us to do it, but it’s here. I thought it was just in the Old Testament at the time when I was doing a bible study, but, now, I know it’s in the Old Testament, as well as the New Testament, especially when I read my devotion this morning. I said, oh, wow. I said, God, I hear you, I’m pushing and I’m going to continue to push until we get the facility, we get the money, and resources, because I know God is going to make a way for them to have the event that we need to have for the widows and widowers.
Q: What’s the biggest compliment you’ve received from a widow?
A: Just calling and talking with them makes their day. Just a call to say, “How are you doing? Do you need anything?” Just something as simple as that, because one thing, I might not have it but I can pray for you. I can say what God gave me to share with them at the time, and I’m so grateful because they’re calling and that’s how we build a relationship. I have so many widows and widowers that come to me and they talk to me, or call me, send me cards. You know, when someone sends you a card, that’s overwhelming to me. Just that little small token right there just lets me know that they’re thinking of me, they appreciate what I’m doing for them. And that’s the best thing that I can do receiving from a widow or widower.
Q. How did you find out about the Daughters of Zion Community Navigator Pilot Program?
A. One Thursday or Friday, normally I don’t cut on my radio, but I had my radio on and I was listening to 95.7. I heard the announcement regarding the Saturday classes at noon, and I said, I’mma go check it out. I said, but, you know one thing about me, they ain’t finna get no money. I’m just being real. So, after that, I got here and we prayed, and I got in and I sat in.
Doctor Kiner, when you gave us two grants, that was February the 12th, one was closing on February the 14th and one on February the 16th. I said, I got to get my boots ready ’cause I’m finna get in here. And that’s what I did, I got it done, and that’s what you have to do, you have to be disciplined. When you give us those grant opportunities, we have to apply ourselves. If you want to do it for them, you have to make sure that the information is going to be available. And I thank you, Pastor Kiner from the bottom of my heart and Daughters of Zion for being here in this community. Celebrating 20 years, I need to slap myself, you know? I did not know until I came up onto this ground, what all, this jewel that we have here in our community. Man, you just done blown me away, and especially Daughters of Zion. Y’all just my second family, thank you so much.
Q. What would you say to any other business owner about being a part of Daughters of Zion Community Navigator Pilot Program?
A. Well, on last week, you can see the fruit that came on today. I had four of them call me and they were just checking on me saying, “What’d you do this weekend? I said, for one thing, I was at the Daughters of Zion, I’m going to share this information whether you all want it or not. Most of the people who called me already have a business, but what are they doing in it? They not working in it. I told them to meet me at Daughters of Zion, 4400 Hickory Hill Road. When they came in here, they were so overwhelmed. One thing, they said, “I will not miss another one,” that’s what they told me today, “I’m not missing another one. Every Saturday at 12, I’ll be there.” I said, okay, then cool. So, that’s how I roll.
Q. In closing, what would you say to any widow or widower out there that feels alone, that feels no one knows what they’re going through, no one can imagine what they’re going through. What would you say to them about becoming part of your program?
A. For me, as the advocate for the Widows and Widowers That Matter, I want you to know that, just keep the faith ’cause we gonna get the grant, and we gonna have events for you. The Widows and Widowers That Matter, it’s so much that we gonna have to offer for you all.
Every day that you can come out your home and be at an event, especially when it’s a holiday, we want to make sure that we have something that’s going to be applicable to what you want to do, and things that will make you love yourself even more on this journey that you on. So, it’s been a great deal for me to be able to be there for them and listen to them. That’s what I want to do, I want to be a listening ear for them, so we can get these things active this year.