General Member of the Public 06/15/2012
An amazing organization founded and run by a woman with great integrity and passion, who keenly understands the impact her program can have -and does -in children and families. Anne’s commitment is amazing, and she positively affects people’s lives by maximizing every dollar donated.
Wings is AWESOME! In a normal visit in many prisons in Ohio, the family must sit around a table. There are reading rooms for the kids but they must be accompanied by an adult who isn’t incarcerated, so this takes away from the visit time with the Inmate. The kids must be quiet and aren’t able to run around. At a Wings party, there are games, songs, crafts, fun, laughter, an interactive Bible story, a shared meal, hugs. The family gets to act like a family who doesn’t have a loved one in prison. The Inmate gets to feel like a person, which sadly isn’t always the case. I have been so blessed by working with this organization.
Professional with expertise in this field 06/14/2012
The Wings Ministry touches the hearts of inmates AND their children in a mighty way. When the children are allowed to spend the day with their parent having fun and learning about the love of Jesus, it touches a place in their hearts that they have kept guarded. Everyone gets involved and learns to have fun with the supplies at hand. It is easy to forget that they are still in prison! The children get to see their parent having fun and playing with them, sometimes for the first time. It can be a life changing experience to feel their parents love and the love of God at the same time. I highly recommend this ministry.
minister – Volunteer 08/10/2012
It’s a honor to be able to help families reunite in prison. And Wings goes the extra mile to bring hope and let families know that they are loved and that it can be a good day if we don’t give up on life and trust God.
LynnN – Volunteer 08/10/2012
In working in prison’s for 18 years, WINGS is the only time I have seen inmates and their families spending quality time together, quality bonding and sometimes a second chance to help rebuild those bridges that were once destroyed. Keeping this bond between the incarcerated and their loved ones is one of the most important keys to helping those behind the bars and fences have a chance to stay out of prison once they are released. Also, having a Christian-based theme helps to keep the Lord on their side and in their hearts. How can such a wonderful program be denied!
deborahdeediaz – Volunteer 07/22/2012
Wings Ministry Prison Parties is the only program, that I know of, that gets the respect and and trust from the Wardens so completely that the Wardens allow intimate contact between the parties. Fathers and mothers get to hold, kiss, and hug their small children through out the 3 hour program. Mothers, fathers, grandparents and other family members get to touch, hold, and hug their adult incarcerated kids. They get to create several kids crafts, eat pizza and cookies, and more importantly have fun and laughter together. These families are used to visiting through a piece of glass or across a table where they get two brief hugs, upon entering and leaving and are told to be very quiet and absolutely no touching. I’m constantly amazed at the level of trust Ann Edenfield, our Director, has been able to cultivate with Wardens all over this country. I know she doesn’t do this program in a vacuum. God is in the details. The volunteers represent different cultures, ages, religions, and faiths. Their only agenda is to give each family and inmate love, respect and a great time. I will work with these volunteers anytime and have for more than three years. This is the only program in the country that focuses on the families and allows them the ability to give so much unrestricted support to their incarcerated loved one. Wings Ministry and Wings for L.I.F.E. deserves to be replicated all over this country.
Comienzos – Professional with expertise in this field 07/04/2012
A dedicated founder. A sizable and seemingly always growing group of volunteers. And a mission that is desperately needed for children and families of the incarcerated. Wings Ministry is a model non-profit and an inspiration to many.
Peggy Lively – Volunteer 06/28/2012
I have attended 2 Wings parties at a local prison in the Dallas area. It was an opportunity to serve that had unexpected results. As a victim of crime, I was reluctant to participate in prison ministry. After my experience at the Wings party, I was able to overcome my reluctance and hear the call to serve in prison ministry regularly. The service to inmates & their families is heartwarming and such a gift of love for inmates, families and volunteers.
cpdna – Volunteer 06/27/2012
The Wings Ministry has filled a gaping hole in prison-related ministries by reaching out to the FAMILIES of prisoners. The founder and executive director, Ann Edenfield-Sweet, experienced the discrimination and isolation family members face when her first husband was arrested and convicted. She dealt with the challenge of raising their four boys (7 yrs old and younger) alone, with a greatly reduced income and with no one from their church home of 12 years reaching out to help. Inspired by her experiences and the huge population of hurting, isolated families, Ann started the Wing’s Ministry in order to share Christ’s love with families members and inmates…their number one rule is that “Everyone is to be treated as a child of God”. Through community and prison parties, the Wings Ministry volunteers model this behavior to everyone: family members, inmates and even guards, creating a conduit to connect the families into caring church communities. Life-skills education is available through their Wings for L.I.F.E. program. I would highly recommend this ministry for contributions – monetary and for volunteer opportunities- due to its positive impact in our communities and the wise stewardship they have exhibited in their use of limited resources.
MaryAnn Gay – Volunteer 06/25/2012
I direct a Wings Ministry affiliate in Warren County, TN. We have a partnership with three elementary schools to do Wings for L.I.F.E. classes every other week for children of prisoners. The children love it and they learn a lot! One mother sent us the following letter of thanks that shows how her fifth grade son became a mentor for his whole family after serving as a leader of a small group for 2 years in our Wings class.
My family and I had never experienced such an overwhelming change in life style as we experienced when a member of our immediate family was incarcerated. We did not know anything about the court system or child services and the children and I were immediately alienated from one half of the extended family that my husband and I once shared and that we had trusted for seventeen years. We had to attend many court dates and we were exhausted from the legal battle that had been placed upon us by his crimes. The emotional stress, as well as the financial stress was almost unbearable. This was the crucial time when WINGS first became a part of my son’s life, and soon thereafter, my other four children and myself. My pride prohibited me from attending the family meetings for sometime, but inevitably I was convicted by the change of heart and mind that WINGS was able to nurture in my son with the weekly meeting at school. In essence, he had not only become much more capable of dealing with his own insecurities but had become an effective role model to his younger two siblings and our household as a whole. My son was an inspiration to me and we got involved as a family. We began attending the family meetings held at Bobby Ray and also events held at local entertainment and churches. This provided us with a support activity that was not only emotionally rehabilitating but also a form of entertainment for my children and I that we would have not been able to otherwise afford. We were able to connect with other folks that had been through and continuing to struggle with the same types of issues and also have the opportunity to help out which is very rewarding. The WINGS program works where many others fail because it never made us feel like a “charity case”. It is an experience that not only changes the prospective, the self-image, the expectations, and the motivations of a person’s own will, but also offers a means of filing away the memories and emotional trials by building self discipline, respect for yourself and others, and the ability to turn bad things into new found strengths in a fun way! Thank you so much for your school program and thank you for all the valuable survival skills that we have picked up just from hanging out with you all! I will always hold your efforts close to my heart.