All posts by deniseestherberry

About deniseestherberry

I'm a native Atlantan with an international orientation, and my curiosity about and love for other cultures has led me to travel the planet to learn about them. I write about the things most important to us: our families, our faith, our animal friends, and our environment.

Giving Thanks

Even now I have to marvel at all of it. I am walking in a gorgeous area of town, where many homes sit directly on the Chattahoochee River. Other walkers and runners pass me smiling. Who wouldn’t? It’s a beautiful day-it’s October and the high is predicted to be perhaps 76 degrees and a comforting breeze blows.  A slight wisp of  clouds float overhead and tinge the bright blue.  In short, a perfect day for a walk. A mockingbird sings its heart out in a bush nearby, and two fawns pause just so slightly to look at me, white tails held aloft. They’re questioning, “is she harmful?”  They decide I am NOT, but just to be sure, they flit away, the white tails like flags of surrender.

I’m reminded of the Psalm:  I lift up mine eyes unto the hills  From whence cometh my help?  My help cometh from Hashem. Almost 10 months ago I was in a difficult spot and I had no idea what I was going to do. Now it is October 2015, and I have been blessed with not one but two sets of friends who allow me to live in their home, allow me to take dinner with them, and allow me the use of their transportation and their homes when they are traveling. I would have never for seen all of this. In addition they have helped me get art commissions, paid me for small things to help me get along…and just in general got me to the point of survival where I am now. I continue to work and interview, and I have not lost hope that I am destined for something special. A friend of mine wrote me today, and he urged me to determine what Christ’s purpose for me is here and now. It also noted that if it was not what Christ intended, it would be full of failure and frustration. I have to ask myself if I am indeed doing what he wants. I know I have an obligation to my parents, but how far that obligation goes and how much it takes me away from the talents he has given me already is a matter of question.

Is not the ultimate purpose of our existence to serve God? If so, then the question is how to serve. Yesterday I read a quote that said you are not given another day because you needed it but because someone needed you in it. I know this is true, of so many people. I think the hardest test is to discern everyday to whom we should speak and why. Right now I must admit, I’m just so very grateful for what I’ve been given so far, and I hereby ask forgiveness for any time that I have grumbled, complained or otherwise sounded ungrateful. I know this is a mortal sin. And I can only marvel at how great God is.  He is so good he continues to forgive me for it every single day, even before I’ve done it. Our God is great. Things may not always go as we would want, but one thing is for sure:  He and He alone is in charge. May you have that blessed assurance today and everyday. Thank you Jesus.

For the ones not yet with us

We are here to bring you light. It is a light that illuminates and magnifies everything around it. Sometimes we will also bring shadows of sadness. We promise you now that the joy we bring you will always overshadow the  darkness.  We are your sons and daughters, yet unborn.

We send this message to you at a time when we know we are but thoughts in your mind.  We will come to you when the time is right. Rest in this knowledge.  Our plans have been put into place long before you were born. We came into being as an intention…God’s very own and yours.

We are your future.  You will give us names, clothing school, pets, relatives. All of these things are wonderful and good. But what do you really need to give us is love and faith
.. these alone remain
So we call out to know. Keep us in your hearts and your dreams, until we can be with you.

Your sons and daughters.


Continue reading For the ones not yet with us

Generic Scope of Work – Denise Berry Fundraising Solutions, LLC.

Scope of Work – Development of Basic Fundraising Program

Goal of the agreement:

The consultant will work with ________________ Senior Staff, office staff, Board members, volunteers and marketing consultants to produce and implement a 12-month fundraising plan for the Foundation.  The fundraising plan will provide tools to reach the fundraising goal set by the Executive Director and Board of Directors and will include strategies for corporate, individual, online, matching, and end of year gift goals.

Objectives/Deliverables of the Agreement  

The consultant will provide the following:

Tasks: to incrementally grow corporate funding over the next few years: 250,000, 550,000 and 750,000 from 2015 to 2018, respectively.  Prioritize top 1% of donors so that we may aggressively cultivate and delight this special group.  Develop creative, compelling fundraising marketing collateral (print, web, social media) with consultants.  Assist in building portfolio of at least 10 beneficiary stories per contact.  Send individualized letters to top tier donors.  Identify, rate and cultivate potential annual and planned giving donors using WealthEngine and other available research options.

Write copy for and develop marketing for e-mail blasts, website banners, online posters and other tools to attract ______ new donors.

Develop and make readily available to all staff all templates and processes to enable efficient fundraising (i.e., bank/giving templates; donor recognition processes).


The consultant will provide weekly reports for the Executive Director, Chairman of the Board, and the Board of Directors consisting of progress made on established fundraising metrics (numbers of donor calls made, follow up visits/appointments, gift pipeline reports, and and new donor information, as well as progress achieved in the ongoing cultivation and progress of currently outstanding corporate proposals.  During the height of the year-end fundraising season (September-December) the consultant will provide twice weekly reports.  In the initial weeks of the project, the consultant will assess organizational assets, and perform an assessment of the organization’s strengths, needs and risks.

Timeline. The project will commence on _______ with an initial meeting at organizational headquarters.

Tasks and Deliverables:

Resources Needed:  Access to in-office laptop-printer, telephone-minimum 2 days weekly

WealthPoint annual subscription for donor research – 3,500.00

Online access to SharePoint donor database

Access to all budget and Board reports/strategic plan

Salary Requirements:  $40,000

Total Estimated cost of project: $44,000

Fall 2015: Four Legged Fun in Atlanta

Yes it’s true, dear readers…we are almost into FALL 2015! This means….an even greater of plethora of things to do in the city and beyond with your four legged friends.  I promise-there will soon be a snap in the air and the crackle of leaves underfoot-and you’re going to want to get out there with your cat, dog or horse and revel in the glory of it all.  I can’t cover it all here, but below are the must-do highlights!  Get out your smartphone and your calendar and save these dates, or Trigger, Killer or your ever-so-slightly-grumpy cat will never forgive you.

Some of your cat’s most sophisticated brethren will be available for viewing at The International Cat Show’s Southern Sophisticats Show in Jekyll Island, Georgia at the Jekyll Island Convention Center, 75 North Beachview Drive.   Southern Sophisticats invites you to visit for a “Ghostly Good Time”.   It will be held October 10-11 2015.  The website,, has more information for cat fanciers.  That’s two wonderful things together: a beautiful place to stay on Jekyll Island and loads of gorgeous cats and anything a cat fancier could want for her favorite feline.wpid-2015-02-12-22.00.34.jpg.jpeg

On August 22nd from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m., the 4th Annual Walk, Wag, N’Run 5K and 1-Mile Fun Run will be held.  This event is hosted by the Ahimsa House and benefits animal and human victims of domestic violence.  The admission is $30.00 through 8/16, $35 8/17-8/21, and $40 on the day of the event.  The 5K course is a USATF certified Peachtree Road Race qualifier for 2016 and using Chip Timing.  The course has flat to rolling hills on tree lined roads around the park with a downhill finish inside beautiful Lenox Park over the dam.

September 20th (1:30PM til ?)  brings the Bark in the Park, presented by Wag-a-Lot.  You can buy a special ticket for man’s best friend to come to the game with you.  Packages include a Braves themed dog bowl and a specified dog friendly play area at the ballpark.  For more information call 866-800-1275.  Combo tickets are $ crowned by leaves

Think you’ve heard it all?  What about this one-a swim day for doggies.  Did you know there’s a chance to get Barkley in the pool for the last swim of the summer?  Take him to Piedmont Park on October 10th, where he can swim to his heart’s content and make new friends before the pool is officially closed for the winter season.  Visit

Only in its second year running but still an enormous hit because of the three charities it supports, the Marietta Muttropolitan Pet Fashion show turns 2!  The Muttro Pet Model Tryouts will be held September 13, 2015.  Registration is now open!  Give your (well-behaved) four-legged friend a chance to show off his or her best look.  There will be a $5.00 suggested donation per pet, and this fundraiser benefits three excellent charities in 2015: Forgotten Paws, PAWsitive Supporters and W-Underdogs.  As if this wasn’t enough reason to attend, Dr. Lynn Bahr, DVM, of Dezi & Roo, will be a special guest who will have a Q&A session “Ask the Vet” and she welcomes your most vexing pet behavior questions!   Marietta Muttro is a 100% volunteer-organized event.

A little bit about these charities:  Forgotten Paws is a charity that spays and neuters, finds forever homes for pets who were left behind, rescues animals from dangerous situations (i.e. a pet living with a hoarder or living in a car), and even places pets cross-country to make sure they get their perfect forever home!  They also transport the pets as far away as New Hampshire, California and Texas!  These folks definitely go above and beyond, doing whatever it takes to improve the quality of life for our best friends.  PAWSitive Supporters is a charity which supports Cobb County’s homeless pets and shelters.  These fine folks provide low/no cost spay/neuters to Cobb County residents.  Currently they are focusing on this goal.  As of 4/23/15 they have fixed 76 total (22 cats, 54 dogs) through their FIX Em’ Free program.  Finally, W-Underdogs is a Peoplestown Youth program that supports positive exposure and instills compassion and ethics through rescuing local in need.  They do a fantastic job involving children and the local community to educate about pet rescue issues.  Well done, Marietta Muttropolitan and Happy Second Birthday!

Horse lovers want to have Fall fun, too so here are a couple of top events: The Georgia Dressage & Combined Training Association, Inc. hosts its Labor Day Classic I on August 29th and Classic II on August 30th.   This is the official qualifying competition for the 2015 Great American Insurance Group USDF Regional Dressage Championships.  There will be musical freestyle competition and so much more.  Spectators receive free admission and parking.

Don’t miss the 43rd Annual Southeastern Charity Horse Show from September 17 – 20, 2014 at the Georgia International Horse Park. It will feature over 300 American Saddlebred horses as well as Hackney and Harness Ponies, Roadster ponies and Roadster horses and is recognized by the United States Equestrian Federation. Over $30,000 in prize money and awards. Benefits the charities of the Kiwanis Club of Conyers.  It’s located in the Charles Walker Arena and admission is free.  For more detailed information, please visit and on Facebook at Southeastern Charity Horse Show.   Contact: Barbara Goda 770-475-1244 or George Anne Nash 770-475-1867.



No listing of Fall Festivals would be complete without mentioning the Blessing of the Pets, one mile northeast of Atlanta on September 26, 2015 (10:00-11:30 am)  which includes free pet snacks, portraits, bandanas, and parking in Midtown, Atlanta.  Bring your scaly ones, furry ones or feathered ones-just make sure they’re crated or leashed.  This is a block south of the Fox Theatre in Midtown Atlanta, North Avenue Presbyterian Church.  Hey, our animal friends could use a little help from above, too, no?  Your contact for this is Kay Carlson, 404-875-0431,

OK, now that you have the scoop, get out there and crunch some leaves with your animal friends!  We hope to see each of you at one or all of these great events.   You’ll see some folks from from Deceased Pet Care at some of these great events. Visit our website for more information at or “Like” us on Facebook.


What is heaven like?

I know God will show unconditional love. I know God will show us the many ways He practices an unconditional love. This mighty force powers the Universe. Let us see how we can join the Creator and wield His awesome force. Yes, we will go into the goal-after all, we have forever to learn.

Many questions I have heard about heaven are like the one I heard about meeting people we knew on earth.  For example, how will we recognize the individuals we encounter?   Will they appear just as we remember them on earth or will we see them in a new dimension?  What changes will I notice in my wife Mildred…one of the few people closest to me on earth.  I believe she will radiate love and affection differently from anyone else  I’ve  known.

And what of the new faces that will stand out when we see them?  I believe it will show that unique feature given each of us as we pass from earthly existence to a heavenly one.  We were not designed to have a permanent home on earth but rather an eternal one in the ever expanding universe.  Expansion is accelerating all the time, creating a need for a vast amount  of humans necessary for co-creation.  At the same time, we rejoice with the Creator in the never-ending process.

On earth, I wondered how God could always be with us wherever we were in the universe at the same time we needed Him. Omnipotent-omnipresent. And it came to  me that He is in everything and every place that exists.

The wonderful news is that when we join him we have the same characteristics.  As the universe expands our knowledge records the event.   Now we adjust to a lifestyle based on endless change, so limits or borders to growth, so that no matter how many people are born on earth there
will always be space to accommodate them.

And so we must adjust our parameters of life. Time is meaningless as a parameter. Life has always been and always will be in the future. All matter is eternal. We cannot see, for instance, that man has existed since some date in the past or in the future. It is accurate to say he lives in the present, since the future is endless.

How can we describe forever? Life here on earth is billions of years old and research pushing known existence dates farther back in time and no end to the future is in sight. How can we live, not knowing of beginning or end. We must accept the answer that the universe has always and will always exist and expand. The universe is our existence so that we were always and will be so forever.

(The following should be on the book jacket cover as your introduction) You, the reader, may be wondering as you read – who is this Sidney Berry and why on earth would he have been selected to write this book? What were the reasons for his choice? I have asked myself this question many times. Perhaps because of a lifelong interest in human growth and development and an insatiable thirst for more answers was my guide in selecting jobs, Education, writing and asking questions, all the while working on a goal to know all that there is to know about God and the ever expanding Universe.

Sid has the honor to serve as Adjunct  Professor at Georgia State University and design and operate an off campus undergraduate class at The Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta.  Sid managed the Center’s Employee Development Program.  He served as the Lay Associate Minister at Belvedere United Methodist Church, and later founded and developed two personal businesses: Sid Berry & Associates Management Consulting Corporation and American Institutes for Management.  Sid worked with a luxury home development company with his brother John Berry in Watkinsville, GA.

He also served as an Economic  Developer for 20 NE Georgia  counties for the NE Georgia Planning & Development Agency.  Sid’s last position held was Coordinator  of the Faith, Hope & Charity Recycle Thrift Store in Ellijay, GA.

On a more personal level, Sid has interviewed and mentored hundreds of persons towards success.  In the course of caring for his wife Mildred for over ten years he has met and talked with a large number of medical health personnel, other patients and their family members.  These experiences have given him a broad base of knowledge on matters related  to health and healing.

Fortunately he has intimately known a former resident of Heaven-his wife of 64 years, Mildred.  He was with Mildred as she experienced an out of body sensation when she was in her early twenties and going through a dangerous childbirth.

Mildred was being interviewed by a representative from Heaven.  When I asked Mildred  “what is going on?” she replied “A decision is being made right now whether or not I enter heaven now or later.”  At that very moment she was dying from internal bleeding because of an incorrect diagnosis by the attending physician.   I ran to the nursing station and told the staff to get to her room fast, as she was hemorrhaging and severely at risk.  They then rushed into the room and began the treatment that would save her life.

I was privileged to meet and spend time with a man who had died and gone to heaven for a while until he was asked by some senior heaven leaders if he would mind returning  to earth for a little while to work on some problems needing his experience.  “I would rather not go back to earth,  he said, but the chance to do something back on earth appealed to me and so here am I.  How long eill I stay and what eas my specific  job were questions I asked at the beginning of each day   At times the question  was easy to answer and at others I never knew if my response was justified.  That’s  the way heaven is working for me.  I get this great feeling of service when I see positive results.  I also pray each day for God to let me return to heaven as soon as possible.   This method of communication  between  heavens’ residents seems so appropriate to me.  No formal interviews  or job descriptions or specific  objectives.  It will be up to the volunteer to observe what is happening,decide on an approach, and then solve the problem.   I have not seen ir heard from this pwrson in over ten years,but I feel for certain he was returned to heaven.

I am constantly awed and  thrilled with my assignment to write this book. What I do not know is whether it will be finished before I go to heaven.   I am 88 years old and a twice close to the time life on earth will end  and I will know exactly what heaven  is like.   The answer will come from the Creator.

What I am writing did not begin with a divine revelation but is emerging  from a life long intent in human growth and development.  This interest  can in turn be characterized by putting a giant puzzle together piece by piece.  How exciting  ut is that a heavenly way can be observed  by every person as a part of everything  material in the Universe.

His ability to be omnipotent omnipresent is easily understood if we remember he always has been and always will be and a piece of spirit is in every cell of everything existing now and the universe and for the future. Early and my Christian development I kept asking how is it that God can be everywhere in the universe at one time. The fact that he is and will always be because he designed it that way.  His ability to be omnipresent  and omnipotent is easy to understand if we remember He always has been and always will be and a piece of Spirit is in every cell of everything existing now in the Universe and destined for the future. Early in my Christian development I kept asking, how is it that God is everywhere in the universe at one time. The fact that He will always be because He designed it that way. I hope to describe this more fully as a book unfolds . For now, think about his unconditional love for us human beings. We hear that nothing can separate us from him. Think about it-separating yourself from God is like separating oneself from something that cannot be separated.

However I can face every confrontation secure in the knowledge that nothing ir no one has ever, or will be able to separate me or any other human being from Him.  That is what heaven is like.

Each day begins and ends without fear because we can be secure that God is invincible and we exist by His grace.

There is no night and sleep is no longer needed, nor is food and drink    There is not any waste disposal are purification system so that heaven is without any contaminants.   where are no calenders, telephones, computers, televisions, schedules or transportation systems, power lines, roads, sidewalks or mailboxes.  No worries with power and water supplies, no bathroom, no kitchen!

There are only beautiful blue skies, oceans and your very own staying place with accommodations for meetings and gatherings.

Then there is the light: a soothing, all-encompassing element that causes you to always feel accepted, wanted and needed.  The light is of great significance.  In earth, those people involved in life-ending experiences are temporarily exposed to this same powerful light and are beckoned by its pull to glory.

My sweet wife Mildred actually experienced this light in two in stances of near death as I stood next to her, and many others write of similar experiences!

Dunwoody Community Garden-Paradise Rediscovered

If you live in or near the City of Atlanta and/or in one of its diverse, numerous communities, you have every reason to be proud of the great social work done in our town daily.   The Dunwoody Community Garden is one really big reason why. Tucked away in Brook Run Park in Dunwoody is a small paradise with a huge mission.

 This garden provides space for 92 numbered garden plots for folks to garden to their heart’s content; provides excellent nutrition to the homeless through a partnership with Malachi’s Storehouse at St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church and works with Boy Scouts, faith-based organizations, and community/business organizations to promote a focus on health/wellness, stress reduction, eco-literacy and social justice.

 Approximately 20% of this garden’s produce is donated to a food pantry in association with the Atlanta Food Bank. The garden partners with the City of Dunwoody Parks Department and is a member of the American Community Gardening Association.

Literally, I stumbled upon the garden as I was driving to visit my mother one day. I was astounded that it had been here since 2009 and I was just now discovering it; how beautifully kept it was, how assiduously people were gardening on the weekend, and how friendly everyone was. I spoke with Teresa Hennessee, Vice-Chairman for the Garden.  She graciously showed me around and introduced me to a few of the members: including Art Simon, the Garden’s Chairman.  Though they had been gardening all morning, they were all happy to stop to talk to me and share their experiences here.  Teresa commented that she loves looking at the level of innovation and artistry in each plot: how individual gardeners arrange trellises, or combine different plans/vegetables.

Everywhere I looked I saw the fruit of much hard work by many: neat rows of cauliflower, lavender, rosemary, salvia, fruit trees, and a stunning show of roses.  Theresa told me that at 9:00 am each Wednesday, 7 or 8 volunteers come to harvest vegetables and bring them over to St. Patrick’s Malachi’s Warehouse.  Every other week, folks are allowed to come over (without having to apply through a State agency for food) and take the nutritious food.  Teresa introduced me to another gardener,  Chrissy, who hails from Erie, Michigan, and learned the art from her parents, who learned it from their parents, who were farmers.  The level of expertise here is amazing!  Below, take a look at some of the beauty I found here:



Sign up for your very own plot and get your hands dirty to your heart’s content and meet other wonderful people who are doing the same thing.  Visit for more information if you are interested.  This entire enterprise is well-kept by individual volunteers, members, and a volunteer Board of DIrectors.  The Dunwoody Community Gardens organization also organizes educational and social events.

Who knew such a gem existed!  I am so excited that I found out about it,  as I never properly learned gardening from my green-thumb Grandfather Jim.  Perhaps, even for people like me, there is salvation and redemption to be found in the hush of this beautiful place.  Don’t take my word for it; go check it out for yourself-and be very, very proud.


For more information on Malachi’s Storehouse, please visit the below link: