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2019 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

142 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Wings for Life International is an amazing organization I've ever volunteered at. Instantly on my first day there I was welcomed by everyone and felt so loved. My kids love going with me every week. Anne is one of the most generous people to walk on this earth. What she and her organization have done for society is beyond amazing. No matter your situation or back round when your at WFLI you are never judged or treated differently.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

“Conducting joyous celebrations of unconditional love that breaks down barriers” Wings For Life International gave me an experience that was exactly that! My name is Christina, and I am a student at CNM where I was taking a Interpersonal Communications class that had each student choose a non profit organization to practice our communication skills. I chose Wings for Life and went every Monday evening right after class. There were nights where I arrived there tired and quiet, and then I left energized and over the moon happy! Singing and laughing on my way home! The community there welcomed me with kindness and acceptance. My time there was truly a great experience and I am grateful.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Working as a volunteer for Wings For Life has been an incredible experience. I was able to do my volunteering through a Service Learning class at Central New Mexico Community College and I am so glad I did! Wings For Life is a program that changes lives and impacts the Albuquerque community in such a beautiful way. During my time at Wings I was able to see the wonderful and welcoming atmosphere of understanding and compassion for those in the program as well as their families. Wings For Life is able to provide these families with resources and life skills to build themselves that they otherwise would not be as easily exposed to. The work done by Wings For Life is incredible and I will absolutely be back to volunteer again.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I like that Wings for L.I.F.E International is very family oriented and it also promotes effective communication skills. It exposes many people to new experiences and I like that I met a few people who want to improve poor resources on the Navajo Nation. Wings has taught me that you have to have the same experiences as others who attend the Monday night events. It has inspired me to get involved with the community so that I can make an effort to make a change in the community. I was introduced to many people who have the same goals as I do and I think that this is a good place to start a network of mentors or other who are willing to collaborate their careers to help different communities.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 3

I volunteered with W.F.L. for my sociology class for C.N.M. I was very excited to participate in this organization after reading about it on their website. I did 3 hours Mondays for 15 hours I did 5 days altogether. You really get the sense of support and belonging when you are here and I like how they really have passion for helping people. I recommend anyone to Volunteer or recommend to someone if they are needed that extra support.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started at Wings for Life International Organization as a volunteer due to one of my classes at CNM. Wings for Life International has a great community that includes everyone. I really like attending the Monday meetings, there are always topics to discus. I really like how including everyone is and how friendly everyone was.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I began attending Wings for L.I.F.E. Monday events for service learning requirements at CNM as part of my Public Speaking class. The environment is great at these events. Meeting new people, hearing stories of hardship and success, and sharing a meal with new friends is a great way to spend an evening. A good meal and a great time awaits at the Monday night meetings.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am studying sociology, criminology, and victimology. Wings for L.I.F.E. is an amazing group and the connections I have made along with the information learned has repeatedly surprised me. One could not ask for a more informative social outreach venue that has a real impact on people's lives. Thank you all so much!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Wings For L.I.F.E International is a awesome nonprofit that is helping in reducing recidivism in Liberia. Lots of returning citizens are overwhelmed. We share Christ love by telling bible stories, games and much more. Special thanks to the Executive Director Ann for the opportunity given to Liberia.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have had the opportunity to intern with WFL from August 2018 -May 2019 and have had a wonderful experience. There are so many opportunities to participate in making a difference & advocating for returning citizens and their families. The mission of WFL to break the generational cycle of incarceration is near and dear to my heart.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Wings For L.I.F.E is a great organization. Love the staff and members. I enjoy the mixers, meeting new people, and going to the prison and bringing families together!

dledoux

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Such wonderful people. A place where people care about you.

Previous Stories
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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been with Wings for almost three years and I am constantly amazed about how lives are changed through each and every meeting. A simple hello or just someone stopping and listening with genuine care and love has meant more then most realize.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My experience at WINGS For Life International was like nothing I've ever done before. This is my first time volunteering for the community and I have truly enjoyed every moment of it. It's a great opportunity to talk to the people involved and they were so generous and open about their stories.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had an incredible time volunteering at WINGS for LIFE. I learned a lot of skills that will help me as I continue my academic endeavor. I felt welcomed and never felt like a stranger.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Wings For Life International does an excellent job of creating a community of support for returning citizens, their families, and other community members. Their dedication to ending the generational cycle of incarceration and fostering resilience in at-risk youth is inspiring.

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.