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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Wings For Life International

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Counseling, Crime & Law, Inmate Support, Mental Health

Mission: Transforming lives to break the generational cycle of incarceration.

Results: Wings For L.I.F.E. - Life-skills Imparted to Families through Education (WFL), a National and State Best Practice Model and has received the following recognition and awards: • National Award of Excellence in Crime Prevention - American Probation & Parole Association • 2017 NM Children’s Law Institute’s Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice Award • 2017 Martin Luther King Jr. Keep the Dream Alive Award • 2017 NM Innovative Behavioral Health Program Star, one of the top 10 Behavioral Health programs in New Mexico

Target demographics: Families of prisoners and returning citizens

Direct beneficiaries per year: Almost 9,000 individuals

Geographic areas served: 20 states, Kenya and India

Programs: Weekly educational program called Wings For L.I.F.E. - Life-skills Imparted to Families through Education and prison and community Family Days.

Community Stories

127 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Wings for Life was a great non-profit to work with. Their work towards access to families for incarcerated individuals is such a great initiative that isn't being addressed or focused on by many other organizations. Ann is also a great leader with an extensive network and love for others that allows WFL to florish the way it has, and it shows with the amount of giving back from the communities she serves.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Ann is a great human being with great intentions. Wings For Life has a strong network. There is also power in words.

UNTASB Student

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a student at the University of North Texas with the organization Alternative Service Break. I have volunteered here for a week and the experiences and opportunities afforded to me have been wonderful. The volunteer work was interesting and challenging, would recommend for people looking to make an impact to those people in great need.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I was a volunteer with the University of North Texas and I was very pleased with time spent with Wings for Life International. Throughout my week at the organization, I attended a Monday night Wings for L.I.F.E. night and was astonished by the community built there. I met a number of returning citizens who spoke about how much Wings for Life has given them a second opportunity, but more importantly, a second hope in life. It was clear to me that even when there were lapses in judgement from Ann, it was no less than obvious that she cares deeply for the people she is serving and puts every effort of hers into making the lives for those incarcerated and their families better.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Over the past couple of months, I have had the opportunity to interact with families and other volunteers at Wings For Life and I can't say enough about this wonderful organization and the resources they offer the community. During my first time in attendance, I was welcomed with open arms! A few speakers that I have been present for offer resources to new job opportunities, parenting skills, financial management, and information on the judicial system. I've had the great honor of witnessing how these types of resources assist individuals and families create a path that they can be be proud! Thank you, Wings! A special thank you to Michelle...

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been with WFLI as an intern for 6 months. Amazing months. They all became a family for me, very welcoming and supportive. I really enjoyed participating in their Monday night program and meeting new people who were going through some transition in their life and found enough courage to share their stories with us. Getting to know all the clients at Wings' events helped me broaden my perspective, which is absolutely crucial for me as a future social worker. I truly encourage everyone who is interested in macro level social work and community service field to come do your practicum and volunteer at Wings. Ann Edenfield Sweet is a wonderful mentor/instructor and a very caring and dedicated individual who wants to make a change with all her heart. Thank you, Wings!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Wings for Life is an amazing organization that really does care about people. For my first Monday dinner I was nervous, but everyone there is very nice and welcoming. Wings is a great place to go to if you want to change your life or see other people change. Everyone who attends the Monday dinners is working towards a goal, for some its regaining custody of their child or looking for help after being released from prison. Wings for Life isn't going to judge anyone based off of their past. The Wings staff and volunteers are honestly trying to help people improve themselves.
- Emily Marchetti

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I cannot begin to explain how wonderful this organization is... Everyone is so inviting and helpful. All they want is to help better peoples lives in any way they can. i love our Monday night community meetings at the church and all the services they provide. They teach classes like parenting or job development, they will help you build resume and how to look for a good job that is appropriate for your needs. They NEVER judge you or turn you away they always see the positive and the good in people. Wings For Life has helped me in so many different ways. I will always be grateful for the time, energy, dedication and efforts that they give to everyone. Thank you.

Anna Sandoval

Volunteer

Rating: 4

For the past semester I had the opportunity to volunteer at Wings meetings on Monday nights. I feel so blessed to have done so and I am sad that my time there has come to an end. Wings is an amazing community that mentors child and adults alike. The dinner portion of the meeting was my favorite because I had the chance to get to know everyone at the table and sit by new people every week. This also gave me the chance just to listen to people and make connections with them. Wings is an amazing organization that is impacting the lives of so many and I hope that they can continue to do so. If you are looking in to the chance to volunteer, Wings is the perfect place!
-Savannah P

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have had the privilege of working with this amazing organization because of an assignment I received for school. I was drawn to Wings because their emphasis on education was important to me. Just like many of the participants, my family has endured the loss of a loved one to incarceration so it was a very personal decision to choose this organization for my assignment. I admired that they focused on educating both returning citizens and their families. I met some wonderful people who showed me that there is another option after incarceration and that success is possible despite what society expects from you.

Zoe
CNM Student

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am an international student from China, I chose wings because it is an international nonprofit organization. I went to wings every monday since two months ago, and it is a very good experience that can be remember whole life. Thanks wings let me know things about returning citizens and their family. God bless you all!
Muen Zhang

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Serving with Wings these last 3 months has been such a positive experience. Having the opportunity to meet so many incredible individuals has been the highlight of my overall service. Ann is incredibly motivated and completely dedicated to everyone that walks into these meetings. I have learned a lot and hope to continue serving with them.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Being a volunteer with WFL was an amazing experience, it really opens your eyes. The people that attend are full of life and I have enjoyed meeting them all as well as the great staff and interns. Thank you, WFL for all that you do!

Porsha L.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I enjoyed my time volunteering for Wings! I learned a lot, and met a lot of really amazing and unique individuals!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the honor of interning here for credits towards my degree in social work and I had a wonderful time! It was great meeting amazing people and getting to hear their stories and seeing them work on bettering themselves. Everyone is so nice and welcoming and you learn important life skills.
-KC Burruss

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a returning citizen and intern, I have had the privilege to experience the love and benefits of Wings. I have witnessed so many people of different age, ethnicity, and gender benefit from this organization. It is a blessing to come to an environment that is consistent of help and unity. I recommend that any person come. I personally have learned how to deal with social and family barriers in a healthy manner. Wings has so much to offer; never experiencing becomes a loss.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Wings for life was very welcoming, and it was an honor to get to meet such amazing people from all backgrounds. The staff all work hard to make Wings the positive atmosphere that it is. Thank you for the opportunity to intern here.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Wings for life is such an amazing organization, especially for returning citizens and their families.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I came to Wings to complete hours for a class. At first, I was not sure what to expect. However after I went to that first dinner, I knew I was hooked. They create and promote such a family environment there. No matter who you are you will feel welcome. They have an incredible staff who are so knowledgeable about the real world. If you get an opportunity to attend any of their Monday night dinners or other events, I would highly recommend it. You will leave feeling great and counting down the days until you can see your new family again.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hi, I recently volunteered at this non-profit organization and it was an inspirational experience to see people want to turn their lives around. I loved volunteering at this organization; due to the fact, everybody is friendly and the chance to do some good in the community. I would recommend this organization to anybody who wants to help out the community or are coming back into society from being incarcerated.