Mother reaches out to woman shot protecting daughter from gang recruitment

(WMC-TV) – The story about a Memphis mother who was shot for telling a gang they could not recruit her daughter propelled a Collierville mother into action.

After witnessing Beverly Dean's bravery, Cheri Hughes felt compelled to help the woman she had never met, by helping her move out of harm's way.

On Sunday, Beverly Dean had no choice but to return to her Whitehaven apartment where a suspected gang member shot her for not letting them recruit her daughter.

Across town, in suburban Shelby County, Dean's bravery hit Hughes like a lightning bolt.

"This woman was fighting for her dignity and fighting for her space and fighting for her right to be there. It just shook me and I couldn't go to sleep," said Hughes.

Though the two women come from two different worlds, Hughes felt the connection.

"I just thought, "Wow. Somebody needs to just reach out to her and say 'You're doing the right thing. How can I help?'"

Since Sunday, Hughes and Dean have been in constant contact and Hughes is getting Dean situated to move to an undisclosed location.

Hughes is also enlisting help from all of her friends to reach out to Dean's daughter, who has a scholarship to a four-year college this fall.

She says everyone can find their own way to help, even if it's just one person.

"I don't just want to show up for some rally and go, 'Yay!' Give me a situation like this situation and maybe I can make a difference in one person's life," said Hughes.

Dean and Hughes both say God is at work in this story about the love mothers have for her children.

Dean said the compassion she has seen is overwhelming and awe-inspiring.

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