About FNF

Dotti Ackerman Founder & Director

'Friends Needing Friends' was started by Dotti Ackerman in 1988 as a new, young widow, living in New Jersey.

The group started with 10 ladies and in 23 years grew to 120-125 ladies in this special sisterhood by 2011.

Dotti has since moved to South Florida where she has started a new group of FNF ladies.  This group was started at the beginning of 2012.  FNF has a special blog with over 85,000"hits"  Our group of ladies also sponsors 17 widow ladies in India. This group is wonderful, caring, full of love, faith, hope, encouragement. We have fun, we learn, we help one another, and God has used Dotti's love and caring personality to encourage so many. 


"Friends Needing Friends" is a special ministry for widows only. This ministry is a sisterhood of ladies selected by God. I have been asked the following questions many times - "why widows only?" or "I'm divorced, why can't I come?" I will try to answer these questions as simply as I can.

When you divorce your mate, it is a human decision between two people. The death of a mate is a decision made by God. The true reason for either loss, only God knows.

As director and founder of "Friends Needing Friends", I have witnessed a special compassionate bond between all the ladies. When a newly widowed person comes to a meeting for the first time, I will introduce the widow to another widow. Immediately, there is an expression of compassion that no other person can give nor receive. Their eyes meet and in a single glance without saying a word, there is an exchange of understanding and full knowledge of their hurts and feelings. These feelings are the true meaning of the word "sisterhood".

The dictionary's definition of the word "sisterhood" is: "an organization of women with a common interest, as for social, charitable, or female members of a church".

The common interest of "FNF" is from the Bible in 2 Corinthians 1:4 God comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. Our sisterhood of women is doing exactly what God has directed it to do and who better to help at this time - you guessed it - another widow.

Our sisterhood over the past 30 years has physically and financially supported several other charitable organizations. We have a Teddy Bear ministry where once again we obey God by visiting the sick and the shut-ins. Since 1995, our ladies have delivered hundreds and hundreds of Teddy Bears to the sick and have encouraged the shut-ins with God's love.

Yes, we have met the dictionary's description of the word "sisterhood" and yes our ladies have obeyed the LORD by sharing the comfort that God has given to us.

May I further explain to you that "FNF" is a ministry available to widows only; that may or may not attend a church. There is a desperate need in our society today regarding the widows that we come in contact with. Our group is a Christian Interdenominational ministry and we do not urge joining a different church or changing one's religion. We are strictly here for what the name implies "Friends Needing Friends".

Now, I hope you will make another important decision to attend our meetings scheduled on the third Monday of every month. (Your first visit, plan to come fifteen minutes earlier to allow time to register).

Shari Hervold Message Minister

Shari Hervold has a mission.  A mission given to her by God, and that is, to help widows with encouraging and uplifting words. May her writings bless each and every one of us as we grow in God's grace through our widowhood.

Click below to enjoy Dotti's Favorite Messages