About Us

How We Started:

In August of 2017, five women met to organize a shelter because they had personally encountered homeless single women without dependent children who found that no such shelter existed in southwest Florida. No programs, assistance, or housing.


In January of 2018 Angel Wings of SW Florida was incorporated and in February was designated a 501(c)(3) non-profit. After a year of fund-raising, a house was rented and was quickly occupied by women in need.


 2019 was a year of learning, growing, and assisting women of a variety of ages, races, and backgrounds.


2020 started out in a similar way, only to be put on “pause” by the Covid-19 pandemic. In September we re-opened and were quickly filled with new clients.


 We look forward to 2021 and helping more of our sisters to achieve independence.


Angel Wings will begin a capital campaign July 2021 through December 2022 with the goal of raising $300,000 to purchase a house.


Our mission is to protect the vulnerable, to shelter the homeless, and to lift up those in need.

The current Board of Directors
is made up of the following dedicated people

We are actively seeking other interested persons to join us.

Dr. Helen Gierke President

Dr. Helen Gierke is one of the founders of Angel Wings. She is the minister of music at First Congregational Church. She has been in church work for 45 years, and worked with refugee employment and education for 10 years.

Mary Anne CipressySecretary & Communications

Mary Anne Cipressy is originally from Albany NY and moved to SWFL in 1982. Her previous career as a physical therapy assistant led to a careers in life coaching and her current field of marketing. She has been a small business owner since 2008. Mary has volunteered with many organizations and women’s issues have always been important to her. She brings her marketing experience to Angel Wings.

Rafael Casillas Board Member

Rafael Casillas is an insurance and investments representative of Mutual of Omaha. He is active in the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Business Networking International. He and his family live in Cape Coral and participate in numerous sports.

Meg GiffenBoard Member

Meg spent her high school and college years in Ohio where she studied Advertising and Marketing. After working in all aspects of the hospitality industry, for the past 15 years she has been involved with her family’s organization(s), Roy Hobbs Baseball. In January of this year, she branched out to start Diamond Girl Marketing, a marketing firm specializing in spotlighting small businesses and community partnerships. Meg brings her event planning and fundraising skills to Angel Wings.

Maria Moore Board Member

Maria is an Army Vietnam-era Veteran, 1967 to 1970. She is from Indiana but lived in Clark County, Ohio for 44 years where she was active in the Clark County Veteran’s Council and organized two Memorial Day Parades. She was a Girl Scout Leader for 20 years. She taught in both Ohio and Indiana. She moved to Cape Coral, October 2020

Susan Brownfield Treasurer

Susan hails from Iowa. She brings 27 years of banking and management experience and served on the Finance Committee of a homeless organization in Colorado Springs, Colorado. She is the current treasurer of First Congregational Church of Cape Coral. Susan is one of the founders of Angel Wings of Southwest Florida.