Gabriel's Angels

Rating: 5 stars   35 reviews

Issues: Animals, Children & Youth, Human Services

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.
2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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EIN 86-0991198
602-266-0875
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

I've been supporting Gabriel's Angels for over 5 years. Each year I am more impressed by the good that they are doing in my community. I am a donor, I've volunteered and I now sit on the steering committee so I've been able to see how effectively this agency is run at all levels. The energy and professionalism that the CEO and Founder Pam Gaber brings to this agency is second to none. Pam couples her passion for Gabriel's Angels mission with her extremely savvy business sense. As a result Gabriel's Angels is one of THE BEST run organizations I have ever seen. This gives me a great deal of confidence as a donor because I know my funds are being placed at their best highest use for the abused and at risk children they serve. I know without a doubt that because of my involvement with Gabriel's Angels that I am making the state of Arizona a better place for these special needs children. For me that serves both my heart and my economic goals. There isn't a higher gift that a charity can bring to their community than this.

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

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

I've worked with many charities over my professional career. However I have never worked with one that is as well run as Gabriel's Angels. This amazing organization combines the professionalism of the best run business with a heart of gold. I have been on visits with the therapy dogs and have witnessed mind blowing miracles as these special dogs reach abused children in a way no human can. I have also sat on committees and watched the effiiciency and joy with with the staff at Gabriel's Angels handles thier work. In my mind there isn't a better investment for my dollar or my heart than Gabriel's Angels.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

As a social worker in a prior career I have seen first hand the devastating effects violence, drugs and abuse can have on children. I am also a dog lover and know how amazing and therapeutic an animals attention can be. Gabriel's Angels so effectively puts the two together and helps children overcome obstacles you and I can not even begin to think about. I believe in the work they do, I see how dedicated Pam and her staff are. I am honored to be able to help them continue their mission in any way I can.

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

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

Helping children and helping animals has always been my passion. Gabriel's Angels does both. By using therapy teams ( many of the dogs are rescues) Gabriel's is able to bring love, trust and empathy back to abused and neglected children. The gentle nature of the dogs bring a beautiful, gentle bond that might never have been possible to these poor children.If you've ever felt the warm nuzzle of a dog, or seen the excitement they feel when you greet them or had the chance to hug a dog after a hard day then you know the magic dogs can bring. Imagine what a child feels when Gabriel's Angels arrive, the rush of love they may have suppressed for years, the warmth in their heart they may never have known or the sheer joy a waggy tail can bring.
Gabriel's helps to heal the heart, mind and souls of these inncocent children. I cannot image anything that is more important or more valuable. I am a supporter for life.

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

From both testimonials, stories and form being involved.

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

I'd place a Gabriel's Angels in every city in our country

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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 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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