Glenwood Springs-based Feed My Sheep Ministries’ director enjoys giving to the Roaring Fork’s homeless on Christmas |

Glenwood Springs-based Feed My Sheep Ministries’ director enjoys giving to the Roaring Fork’s homeless on Christmas

John Gardner
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Kara K. Pearson Post Independent

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” Christmas isn’t about gifts. But it’s hard to sell the idea of “giving” without them.

It’s the giving that Karolyn Spencer, director of Feed My Sheep Ministries in Glenwood Springs, enjoys.

She gives and helps homeless people in the Roaring Fork Valley all year long, but ’tis the holiday season that fits her giving ways best.

“Oh, it’s my favorite time of year,” Spencer said through a vibrant smile. “It’s great. It’s fun to be with them and watch them open their gifts.”

Spencer, with the help of local community members, is providing about 30 individuals through Feed My Sheep with gifts such as socks, long underwear, work or snow boots, gloves and even a radio ” gifts in high demand for people without a home, gifts that provide a sense of belonging.

“They already know that they are getting the gifts,” she said. “They have to know because we had to ask them what size boot they wear.”

The money for the gifts came from donations made by local families. Alyssa McCoy and Jeanne Johnson helped to raise the money for the boots.

“Everyone wants to help, but doesn’t know what to do a lot of the time,” McCoy said. “But boots we can do.”

McCoy and Johnson collaborated, and together they asked for donations from other friends they knew through being parents of students at Sopris Elementary School in Glenwood Springs.

“Alyssa told me that (Spencer) needed some boots and I said, ‘Well, let’s fix that,” Johnson said. “It was so exciting how everyone just pitched in and wanted to help out.”

Johnson said that through a few hours of phone calls one day the two had raised enough money to supply nearly 30 pairs of boots. That made Spencer happy.

“The boots are the really big item this year,” Spencer said.

On the Friday before Christmas, Johnson and her husband, Casey, brought their three kids, Zachary, 8, Leigh Anne, 6-and-a-half-years-old, as she calls it, and Tyler, 3, to the Feed My Sheep facility on Grand Avenue. The family worked together wrapping the boots. It was a good lesson on the real meaning of the holiday.

“We wanted to introduce our kids to the aspect of giving and helping out people in the community,” Casey said. “This was a good way to do that.”

Last year, it only took about two hours for all the gifts to be wrapped and placed near the elaborately decorated Christmas tree in the building.

Along with gifts, a meal will fill the bellies of the homeless through the program’s annual Christmas feast, which Spencer started along with the gift-giving effort about four years ago. It’s a meal as elaborate as Spencer’s generosity, and it’s the perfect way for those without homes to enjoy the holidays. A holiday with a makeshift family.

“The homeless aren’t demonstrative,” Spencer said. “They come here and they eat the meal and it gives them time to relax and enjoy the holiday.”

You don’t need a home to celebrate the holiday.

“We believe in celebrating Christmas on the day with them,” Spencer said. “We have a big dinner, and it’s meant to be like a family gathering.”

Spencer even brings in her personal best silverware and serving trays to serve the salmon, roast beef and roasted pork loins.

She spares no expense on this day.

It’s the giving she enjoys most. That’s her gift.

Contact John Gardner: 384-9114

Post Independent, Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO

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