Selfless Service Spotlight: Gabriel's Angels

Posted by Jonathan Keyser on Dec 4, 2014 2:21:18 PM
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Gabriel's Angels selfless serviceTo help champion the concept of selfless service, Keyser is shining the spotlight on organizations who are committed to serving others. Today, we'd like to feature the Gabriel's Angels and how they are practicing selfless service through the work that they do.

The mission of Gabriel's Angels is to deliver healing pet therapy to at-risk children, nurturing their emotional development and enhancing the quality of their lives forever.

Here's our interview with Samantha Hagan, Board Chair of Gabriel's Angels, on how their organization practices selfless service.

Selfless service is loosely defined as a service that is performed without any expectation of something in return. How does your organization selflessly serve others?

Gabriel’s Angels mission is to deliver healing pet therapy to at-risk children, nurturing their emotional development and enhancing the quality of their lives forever. Registered therapy teams, made up of an individual and his/her companion pet, engage children to develop and improve healthy core behaviors that are critical to normal development.

Gabriel’s Angels currently services over 13,700 abused, neglected and at-risk children and youth in Phoenix, Tucson, and Northern Arizona. Currently Gabriel’s Angels has 175 registered volunteer Therapy Teams and 51 helping hands delivering pet therapy to over 100 agencies. All services are free of charge to the agency and the children. Gabriel’s Angels believes the bond between a therapy dog and a child is strong enough to break the cycle of violence. Some of the partner agencies that are currently served are Child Crisis Center, Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Phoenix, Florence Crittenton Services of Arizona, UMOM, Casa de los Ninos, Emerge!, Our Family Services, and Boys and Girls Club of Prescott Valley.

Do you have a specific example or a story of selfless service that has happened at your organization?

There are so many to share! My personal story is through my volunteering as a helping hand with Golden Retriever team Tucker and his mom Leslie. I assist them every other Wednesday at FACES the full day center of Crisis Nursery. We visit 8 classrooms of toddlers and pre-school aged children. When Tucker first arrives at FACES a child may be angry and violent not wanting to be near Tucker or afraid. However when a child sees how we take all care of Tucker, petting him, giving him water, brushing his teeth, and reading his books the child learns to no longer be angry, violent or afraid. As time goes by when we come to visit the children they are smiling, exited and wanting to take good care of Tucker. Seeing the changes and development to each child’s behavior as Tucker has come to visit has been nothing short of amazing.

What are your organization’s values, and how does the idea of selfless service fit into those values?

I believe this goes back to the mission of Gabriel’s Angels to deliver pet therapy and its commitment to someday serve ALL children in need. Its guiding philosophy is that Gabriel’s Angels is driven by the passionate belief that the unconditional love of a dog can heal a child.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with the world about the idea of selfless service?

Volunteering with an organization like Gabriel’s Angels is so enriching to your own life in many ways that you will not realize the joy it brings until you give back. Especially finding out how to volunteer in your own community and seeing how you can make a difference in the lives of others, I encourage everyone to find out what you can do to help others.

Just a note about my volunteering with Gabriel’s Angels – I joined the board in May 2000 after meeting the CEO and founder Pam Gaber. I heard her story of starting the organization with her dog Gabriel and how she volunteered with the kids at Crisis Nursery. I immediately fell in love with the organization and its pet therapy programs here in my community serving kids in need. I wanted to know how I could immediately get involved.

I am currently serving as Board Chair and Helping Hand volunteer with team Tucker at FACES the full day center of Crisis Nursery. What impresses me about Gabriel’s Angels is how well financially the organization is run by Pam and the staff it’s more like a business than a non-profit. We also have an outstanding and highly engaged Board of Directors. The organization receives no government funding it’s funded through public donations and grants. Gabriel’s Angels qualifies for the Arizona Charitable Tax Credit.

Each year Gabriel’s Angels has two highlight events; Unleash the Love Breakfast, May 1st, 2015 at JW Marriott Desert Ridge and Salud! wine dinner and auction in October. In 2015 Gabriel’s Angels will celebrate its 15th year!

Thank you for allowing me to share Gabriel’s Angels.

Keyser is a commercial real estate advisory firm that is transforming the business world through selfless service. Our goal is to prove once and for all that the most self-interested business strategy in the world is to be of selfless service to others. Contact us today to see how we can be of service to you.

Topics: Selfless Service