Angel Ministries: From Tragedy to Hope

pattern stories
Written by:
Ed Domain

Serving those in need in Portales, New Mexico. 

His mother was devastated. She lost her son to tragedy, and she mourned. She also made a vow:  “Never again will a mother go through this. Never again will a mother lose their child to addiction.”

This story starts with a tragedy.

Robert E. Savitz was the son of Sheila Savitz, and like all mothers, she loved her son dearly, and he loved his mother.

Tragically, the world isn’t always kind to everyone and in the worst possible scenario, Robert E. Savitz lost his life due to addiction.

His mother was devastated. She lost her son to tragedy, and she mourned. She also made a vow:  “Never again will a mother go through this. Never again will a mother lose their child to addiction.”

As the owner and sole proprietor, Sheila Savitz launched Angel Ministries, a non-profit organization that has grown since its start to provide a number of services to those most in need. 

After the damage.

Consignment store, and so much more 

In the beginning, and to this day, Angel Ministries will help anyone that walks in the door. It wasn’t (and isn’t) always easy to find the resources someone might need, but Sheila makes it happen.

Angel Ministries serves anyone in need without judgment, and when someone brings in items to sell, the seller gets 60 percent of the sale price while Angel Ministries gets 40 percent.

This helps keep the operation running, although it is always a challenge because the most needy often don’t have much money.

New, secure, and dry!

Food bank…

As Angel Ministries operated, Sheila realized food insecurity was another major concern, and so she set up a food bank in the back of the store that had non-perishable food, backpacks for kids, and other necessities. (The reason they have non-perishable food is that many of their clients don’t have refrigerators, and wouldn’t be able to keep food cold.)

….and then rehab, too

Sheila knew other families had loved ones struggling with addiction, so she worked with the courts to keep people out of jail for drug offenses.

When people receive court fines they cannot pay or are required to do community service, they have the option of volunteering to work some shifts at Angel Ministries, which works for all parties involved. The people needing help are able to do their service and get some counseling, too.

Most importantly, Angel Ministries finds beds in rehab facilities in New Mexico and Texas so that those struggling with addiction can get the help they need. 

Founder of Angel Ministries, Sheila Savitz.

A friendly ear, and a new roof!

Sometimes people can become overwhelmed, and when it happens they need someone to talk to. They can come into Angel Ministries and find someone to sit with, talk with, and sometimes pray with, if they are so inclined.

“We don’t have a lot, but we do what we can,” a staffer at Angel told me.

Because nothing is ever easy, Angel Ministries suffered water damage to their roof, and were worried about the future. Pattern Energy donated $2,500 and they were able to get a new roof as a result.

“You cannot understand what a big deal having our roof fixed was unless you were here to see the damage,” the same staffer told me. “We are incredibly grateful for the local support from Pattern Energy. We serve our community and it’s wonderful to see they feel the same.”

Volunteers who care.

The Staff

Every worker at Angel Ministries is a volunteer, and most try to work a five-hour-shift each week.

As you can imagine, it isn’t easy with only a volunteer staff, but as the staffer told me, “We make it work.”

As proof, in addition to everything else they do, they recently delivered 50 hot meals to senior citizens in the community in need. 

Unloading donations.

The Future

Now that Sheila is older and lives out of state, her daughter plans to continue the work. The needy in Portales appreciate Angel Ministries and, for the foreseeable future, they will be able to continue Sheila’s Mission:

“Never again will a mother go through this. Never again will a mother lose their child to addiction.”

Yes, you can give them a call.

Sheila Savitz talks openly about the loss of her son, Robert E. Savitz to issues related to his addiction. 

After he passed, and she was grieving, she made a vow:
“Never again will a mother go through this. Never again will a mother lose their child to addiction.”

True to her word, Sheila launched Angel Ministries, a non-profit organization dedicated to serving the neediest in Portales and meeting them wherever they are.

Originally a consignment store (where the sellers receive 60 percent for their items and Angel Ministries receives 40 percent), it has grown as Sheila has gotten to know the specific needs of community members in need.

Soon she set up a food pantry with non-perishable food (many of their clients don’t have a refrigerator), and then after that added other necessities families might need, like backpacks for kids.

Today, Angel Ministries serves the neediest in Portales in many different ways, all through the lens of being compassionate.

Click through to read the story of this incredible, hard working, volunteer run non profit!

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