Gabriel's Angels

Rating: 5 stars   35 reviews

Issues:

Location: 1550 E Maryland Avenue Suite 1 Phoenix AZ 85014 USA

Mission: Gabriel's Angels was formed in 2000 with a mission to end the cycle of violence that is a haunting predator of children who are abused and neglected or are at-risk. Our goal is to improve the emotional health and well-being of these fragile children and provide the tools to help them to develop specific social skills that are precursors to preventing the recurring cycle of domestic violence.
Target demographics: Gabriel’s Angels serves children from infant to 18 years old residing in crisis nurseries, domestic violence shelters, homeless shelters, group homes for teens and residential treatment centers. We serve all children equally without regard to gender, ethnicity, income level or other factors. Gabriel’s Angels estimates that 35.5% are Hispanic, 31.7% Caucasian, 21.6% African-American, 7.8% Native American, 2.7% mixed ethnicity, and 0.4% Asian or Pacific Islander. Although we are not provided with family economic information from our partnering agencies, we believe that most would be classified as low to extremely low income. Arizona statistics on children residing in foster care indicate the average reimbursement per child per year is $13,334. We also know that nearly one in five (21%) of Arizona’s children live in poverty with 10% of those living in extreme poverty. Sadly, issues of abuse and neglect often accompany this socio-economic factor.
Direct beneficiaries per year: 13,000
Geographic areas served: Arizona - Maricopa, Pima, Pinal, Cochise and Yavapai Counties
Programs: In order for Gabriel’s Angels to provide services, it is vital to have trained therapy teams. Therapy Teams are volunteers consisting of a handler and pet. Therapy Teams must first complete an evaluation, conducted by an independent agency, the Delta Society or Therapy Dogs, Inc. To successfully complete the registration process, the animals must pass a health examination and provide proof that inoculations are current. Finally, the Team must pass two evaluations; one that assesses the handler’s control over their pet and one that assesses the animals’ temperament and obedience skills. Gabriel’s Angels supports our potential volunteer Teams through this process, but is not involved in their training, evaluation, or registration. Once the Team passes the evaluation they are registered with the Delta Society or Therapy Dogs, Inc. All fees are paid by the volunteer. Teams complete this process prior to being accepted as a Gabriel’s Angels’ Pet Therapy Team. Before a team is assigned to a partner facility, the handler must clear an FBI fingerprint/background check, provide verifiable references, and attend Gabriel’s Angels’ Orientation/New Team Training. In this training, volunteers are informed of polices and procedures, plus are coached on the particular behaviors of the age group with which they will be working. Since all of our Teams work with children who are in crisis, it is necessary to prepare them for what they will experience. The Therapy Team is then assigned to a partner agency. This placement is dependent on the request from the facility, availability of the volunteer Team, personality of the owner and the personality of the Therapy Dog. As we strive for a permanent placement every time, this matching process is not taken lightly. The new Team is accompanied by a Gabriel’s Angels’ Volunteer Coordinator for the first one or two visits. Team visitation is typically on a consistent bi-weekly schedule. Bi-weekly visitation seems to match volunteer and pet availability the best. However, Gabriel’s Angels’ goal is to provide weekly Pet Therapy visitation at each facility; therefore a minimum of two Teams are needed at each facility to insure weekly visits. When the Pet Therapy Team visits, dogs are on leash and wear a Gabriel’s Angels purple vest. Handlers tell us consistently that donning the vest creates a change in their dogs’ behavior; they know they are “going to work.” Much like an assistive dog for a person with a disability, these dogs truly work with the children, often spending the rest of the day in well-deserved repose. The therapy visit is relatively unstructured, following a Montessori-based educational belief that children will convey what they need to accomplish during the visit. For example, children might brush the dogs’ teeth, allowing children to draw the parallel between this activity and self-care needed to maintain personal good health. Or, children might observe that the dog is panting, an indicator that a drink of water might be needed. A water bottle and bowl appear and children are encouraged to provide a drink for the dog. The children are learning to recognize a need in another and respond positively in filling that need. Or, as a final example, children are taught how to give a command, such as “sit” and reward the dog for obeying the command. How empowering for an abused child to tell a 100 pound dog to “sit” and be obeyed! An abused child feels they have no control in their life; working with the therapy dog helps children begin to develop a sense of confidence. After the team has some field experience, the handler returns for in-depth training for the ACT (Animals and Children Together) Learning Project. ACT was developed as a result of an independent evaluation of our Pet Therapy visitation effectiveness on impacting the key behaviors needed for abused children to develop socially. The activities that are engendered in this project help our volunteer Pet Therapy Teams reach children on a deeper level. Included in the training, which lasts between three and four hours, are modules that help the volunteer understand the emotional effects of child abuse, the core behaviors being impacted, and the important role volunteer teams play. Volunteer Teams are introduced to and trained on the effective use of over 25 engaging activities they may employ on their visits. The ACT Program is leveled in an age-appropriate manner. Noah’s Tails is geared towards infants to children age 5; Penny’s Pals for 6 to 12 year olds; and Gabe’s Gang for teenagers. Each ACT activity bag contains an instant camera. Handlers are trained to “catch the children doing something good” and snap those photos. For children who have grown to believe that they can do nothing right, these photos are extremely valuable in providing tangible images that they can and are capable of doing right and well. In addition to our ACT training, we work closely Social Work schools to offer training to our volunteers on the CPS system and the circumstances to which many of these children have been exposed. This training helps our volunteers better understand the behaviors and needs of this children as well as the importance of consistent Pet Therapy visits. Gabriel’s Angels provides consistent Pet Therapy visits at 107 partner agencies, 83 in Maricopa County and 24 in Tucson. The average visit lasts anywhere from one to one and one-half hours. Ideally, the Therapy Team works best with groups of 10 to 12 children. There is no cost to the participating agency to receive therapy visits for their children. Partner agencies commit to the visitation schedule and provide assistance in program evaluation. Clearly, it is vital for Gabriel’s Angels to recruit, train, reward and retain volunteer Pet Therapy Teams to maintain our current level of service and work towards meeting the additional demand. To accomplish these goals, maintaining service to existing partner agencies and strategically partnering with new agencies, Gabriel’s Angels has an immediate need for at least 170 additional Pet Therapy Teams statewide. We choose to invest in the development of our volunteer Pet Therapy Teams and are proud that our volunteer to staff ratio is currently 13:1.
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EIN 86-0991198
602-266-0875
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

Originally, I intended to join Gabriel's Angels as a pet therapy team, but that didn't work out for me and my dog, Emma. Instead I'm a helping hand who joins a pet therapy team. Together the three of us visit a domestic violence shelter every other Saturday morning. We have an hour with the children. Every visit is different as there are usually new families seeking shelter and others who have moved on. What is the same each time is that there is at least one child who has a breakthrough moment in working with us and our therapy dog. It's truly amazing and special each visit.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Every visit is different as there are usually new families seeking shelter and others who have moved on. What is the same each time is that there is a least one child who has a breakthrough moment in working with us and our therapy dog. It's truly amazing and special each visit

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I hope Gabriel's Angels continues to grow, so that more children can benefit from love of therapy teams in hopes of breaking the cycle of violence.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have been involved with Gabriel's Angels as a volunteer for over 2.5 years. During this time I have seen for myself the positive impact that the therapy teams have on the children. It is incredible the connection between a child and a dog. My dogs love working with the children and the children are so happy when we come to visit. The more we visit, the more their behavior improves. I have been so impressed with the organization that my husband and I have moved GA to the top of our list for charitable donations.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

You have no idea how much the attitudes and behaviors of the children improve. To watch a child pet my dog and smile is incredible. They may not talk to me, but they communicate with my dog. Priceless!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

If I could I would find a way for even more people to get involved.

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Rating: 5 stars  

With its targeted mission, Gabriel's Angels provides healing intervention through pet therapy and related program tools to children who have been subject to the most horrific crimes that a society can generate - abuse and neglect of those that look to adults for trust and guidance.

The positive results of what this organization accomplishes have been measured scientifically in many ways yet there are key intangible impacts created by the powerful bonds between therapy dogs and children that are beyond comprehension of the social sciences - that is the "magic" formula of Gabriel's Angels!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have watched young children benefit from the bond they have developed with a therapy dog without a word being spoken by them and older children and teens articulate clearly how this positive intervention will benefit them as they move forward in life to become productive adults breaking the vicious cycle they were the subject of.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

The most desired change would be the day when child abuse and neglect no longer existed in society and Gabriel's Angels, knowing that its mission succeeded, could gladly retire as an organization.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I've been a board member of Gabriel's Angels for under a year, but have watched the organization grow for a few years. The work that Gabriel's Angels does greatly impacts our community in Arizona, and truly makes a difference in children's lives. It is very powerful to watch abused and neglected children respond positively to the therapy dogs and see their smiles when a dog arrives. Additionally, this organization is very well-run, responsible, and a model for other nonprofits across the country. It is a delight to be a part of such a wonderful organization and help it achieve its mission to deliver healing pet therapy to abused, neglected and at-risk children, nurturing their ability to love and trust, thereby freeing them from the cycle of violence.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I've witnessed the growth and success of this organization, both from a board member perspective and seeing how therapy team visits help young children.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I think this organization is doing incredibly well and has a very strong direction to help it grow and continue to help our community.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I watched a Gabriel's Angel volunteer and her dog spend time with a group of young children at the Crisis Nursery. The kids had hands on experience learning how to care for and love the animal as well as each other. What struck me was the transformation of the attitude of one child who shared that dogs had always been mean, so he was mean to them. At the end of time the team was there this child had his arms around the dog giving him kisses. It was a life's lesson for me.

With the number of kids struggling in these times, I wish there were more supporters of Gabriel's Angels so the organization could add more teams.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Due to the exceptional job Gabriel's Angels has done, I have watched the number of requests for volunteer teams rise to assist other at risk children of the community

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

The change I would suggest is actually in process right now with Gabriel's Angels moving from their grass roots beginnings to planning fundraising events that will introduce more of the corporate world and high net worth potential donors.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

What specific problem, purpose, priority, or project prompted your gift?

I have been involved in Crisis Nursery and experienced first hand the transformation of the kids with Gabriel's Angels.

Why did you make your donation at this time?

We are here on earth to help as many as we can, when we can.

What would you tell others about this organization?

That there are too many kids out there in need of the tools to help guide them through these terrible times they are experiencing.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Rating: 5 stars  

This organization has motivated the entire community toward the care of abused children. With the affection from their precious pets, the volunteers are able to cross barriers that were previously unsurmountable. Gabriels Angels team and leader are truely committed to the mission of their organization. I love supporting such a worthy cause.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The benefit of this organization is not only in the thousands of children that have been helped, but in the multitude of people who have a heightened awareness of their need to help the disadvantaged child.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Duplicate it around the world!

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Rating: 5 stars  

I am currently a Helping Hand Volunteer with Gabriel's Angels, and am working with a Bull-Mastiff Puppy named Charlie to become a Therapy Team. I love this organization and believe in their philosophy whole-heartedly! I grew up in a home where there was material wealth, but I was not safe or valued. Whenever I felt sad, scared, angry, or hurt, I would play with my dogs. They showed me unconditional love and joy. When we go to the Sojourner Center with "Petey", the Therapy Dog, I can relate to these precious children, who just want to feel safe, loved, and happy. Seeing "Petey" each week does this for these kids. You can see it in their eyes, and in their huge smiles when we walk through the door. The most rewarding moments are when one of the kids, who has been shy and afraid to interact with "Petey", finally trusts, and pets him. Each week, they trust a little more, and they come to love and trust "Petey", and are empathetic to him as well. The un-conditional love "Petey" brings to these kids will impact them and stay in their hearts always. ......I know,......it stayed in mine:)

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Helping children see and feel the impact that un-conditional love brings to their hearts and spirits.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Expand Gabriel's Angels to all 50 States & Nation wide!

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Rating: 5 stars  

My husband came home from work one day and told me about this organization that his emplyer supported. I was lookng for an opportunity to "make a difference" and this sounded like the perfect match for me! My love of animals and inherent belief that we must do something to stop the cycle of violence and abuse drew me to Gabrie's Angels. In the short time (1 year) that I have been a volunteer, I know that my dog Bella has touched the lives of many children. What I wasn't prepared for was how strong of an impact the children have made on me. Their smiles, hugs and laughter when they see Bella and I walk through the door make my day! I am proud to be a part of Gabriel's Angels and the incredible work they do in our community.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Many ways

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

grow

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Rating: 5 stars  

I was introduced to this organization 5 yrs ago, I have seen it grow and grow and constantly help the children in need. They have a dynamic group of people and volunteers and it is always full of excitement at their orgainization. Glad to have met such a great group!!!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have been a table host and a guest at their breakfast for the last 5 years. Help at fund raisers.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

clone everyone there so it could even reach more children!

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Rating: 5 stars  

I was introduced to GA @ the annual brkfst 2 years ago. Later that year I was invited to join the Board. I had been invited to join many charity bds over the years but declined all.
GA was different from any other charity. The founder Pam Gaber impressed me with her dedication,drive and desire to help abused and at risk children. Her staff was positive about and immersed in the GA goals. The enthusiasm of the entire organization was electrifying. So I joined my only Charity Bd 18 months ago and I love this organization!

Larry K.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Board Member

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Help raise more cotributions.

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