Angel Wings’ Dobbs receives state Philanthropy award

Angel Wings Network Executive Director Mabel dobbs stands with cancer survivor, Danni Harris, while she addresses a large crowd at the 2023 Angel Wings Walk/Run. Photo by Philip A. Janquart
Angel Wings Network Director Mabel Dobbs was recently awarded the Idaho Philanthropy Day Talented Volunteer Award.
 Idaho Philanthropy Day is a program directed by the Idaho Nonprofit Center and supported by Serve Idaho, the Governor’s Commission on Service and Volunteerism, and many other sponsors.
 Celebrated statewide during the month of November, the program recognizes the philanthropic work of nonprofit organizations, foundations, businesses, and individuals nominated by their peers. The award encompasses the spirit of philanthropy, including time, talent, treasure, and involvement in the community.
 It is the third time this year that Dobbs has been recognized for her work leading a 501c3 organization that provides crucial services to area cancer patients and their families.
 Last spring, she was named First Lady of Weiser by the Beta Sigma Phi sorority and, last summer, was chosen as the 2023 Weiser Valley Roundup Grand Marshal.
 “This is the triple crown of the year,” Dobbs said of the Idaho Philanthropy Day award. “It’s a real honor and it’s been a good year for Angel Wings.”
 Since taking over as director in 2018, Angel Wings has increased its fundraising budget by about $20,000 each year through donations and two main fundraising events, the annual Angel Wings Walk/Run and its Spring Auction held in conjunction with the statewide fundraiser Idaho Gives.
 The funding has allowed the organization to grow, expanding its services to include gas, grocery and restaurant cards, patient transportation to treatments and appointments, and the Cancer Care Pals program, which aims to contact patients through wellness calls, among other services.
 Angel Wings has brought in over $130,000 so far in 2023, coming a long way from the days when the organization barely had $5,000 in its bank account.
 Dobbs said she is always moving forward and looking to the future.
 “I have said for the last year that we have hit a point at Angel Wings where we are at that jumping off point,” she said. “We are no longer that little nonprofit that does a few things. We are at the top of the mesa and we are either looking up or looking down; we can’t back up now. The needs are too great, we do too much, and we serve a community that is in such dire need, so we’ve got to figure out how we go forward and grow.”
 It’s one of Dobb’s big concerns, especially when she eventually retires.
 “We created a succession plan knowing full well it’s something we have to talk about because when your director is my golden age, you have to talk about what’s going to happen when Mabel is not there, and the same thing basically goes for our board,” she said. “My dream is to know that when I step aside, there will be an Angel Wings Network in Weiser 10, 20 years from now, doing even bigger things than what we are doing right now.”
 The answer could possibly be a grant through the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust that would help fund a salary for a full-time program director over a three-year period.
 Dobbs is technically retired and her salary is not a significant factor in terms of Angel Wings’ overall budget, but when she decides to step down, the position will need to provide her successor with a livable salary for the vast amount of work involved.
 “Murdock does a lot of big-time funding for organizations in five western states, a lot of growth-type funding and they do have a three-year grant that can be applied for; it’s basically a program development officer-type position,” Dobbs said of Murdock. “So, we are doing the preliminary work, starting with a letter of inquiry, asking Murdock to allow us to present a proposal to fund this program development person and bring them on board to shadow me for the next couple of years with the idea that that person could step in and become director when I go, as well as expand our program and fundraising work.”
 Dobbs said that for now, she will continue as always fueled by what has become a passion.
 “I find it just gives me such purpose in life at this point,” she said. “It’s the thank you cards and the people that I get to know and love who tell me how much it has meant to them to have Angel Wings Network help them.”
 She also lauded her board and volunteers for their hard work and dedication.
 “They are amazing,” Dobbs said. “I could not do this without them. I just drive the wagon; they make the wagon wheels turn.”
 For more information, visit, call (208) 414-9464, or visit them on Facebook.


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