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Ride your bike to help Feed My Sheep

Kay Vasilakis
Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

Karolyn Spencer had a passion for the mission to help the homeless population of Garfield County. Even before she created Feed My Sheep out of a small hotel room in Glenwood Springs in 2003, she fought for their rights and their needs, often to deaf ears. It seemed no one wanted a homeless facility in their backyard. Because of her persistence, Feed My Sheep finally became a reality, and people’s lives have changed. Because of a tremendous need, the program has grown and is now located in the Catholic Charities building on Grand Avenue.

Karolyn passed away in November 2008, but her strength of spirit lives on in the hopes of those lives she touched. Feed My Sheep has a desire to help people move into a state of self-sufficiency whenever possible, integrating them into a responsible part of the community.

Feed My Sheep provides a network of services to the homeless, including food, showers, laundry, storage and communication services. The program also provides camping equipment, candles, blankets and over-the-counter medications.



For most of the year, Feed My Sheep is a day center. More and more people, desperate for help, are turning to Feed My Sheep when they are evicted from their homes and have nowhere else to turn.

Feed My Sheep exists not only to meet basic survival needs, but also to engage in relationships with its clients. Through these positive, trusting relationships, the agency helps people get back on their feet for the long term. Feed My Sheep offers a supportive atmosphere that does not offer judgment, but rather a helping hand to get out of destructive life cycles.



Several years ago, a homeless person Karolyn was working with died from exposure in the bitter cold of winter. Karolyn started a Winter Overnight program to make sure that does not happen again. This program costs almost $70,000 to run for the four coldest months of the year.

In last year’s winter season, the program served 70 people in the Winter Overnight Program, and it is estimating it will serve 90 or more this winter.

Feed My Sheep is offering an event for cyclists to help them with their important mission. The Ride 4 Shelter event has been created specifically to help the Winter Overnight Program. The event will be held Saturday, Aug. 22, and Sunday, Aug. 23. Two options are available for riders.

Option 1 is for the cycling enthusiast, and runs for 178 miles. Day 1 leaves Glenwood Springs and heads to Minturn to Leadville. On Day 2, cyclists travel from Leadville to Aspen and back to Glenwood.

Option 2, “The Fun Ride,” starts at 1 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 23. Riders leave Glenwood Springs and travel to El Jebel and back to Glenwood.

The minimum registration fee is $70 per person, and all participants will receive a free T-shirt.

“There is no full-time shelter between Grand Junction and Denver,” said Feed My Sheep Director Kenneth Williams. “When people go through crisis such as an eviction, being stranded due to car trouble on the interstate, loss of job, etc., we are their only option. We need people to ride, donate, volunteer and help us raise money for this winter overnight shelter.”

Williams added, “During this time of economic crisis there are more people in need of help than ever before. We need our community to come together and make the Winter Overnight Program a reality again in 2009.”

For more information, contact Kenneth at Feed My Sheep Ministry at 928-8340 or fms_glenwood@yahoo.com.

What a good cause for all you cycling enthusiasts out there.

Kay Vasilakis’ “Nonprofit Spotlight” column runs every other Wednesday in the Glenwood Springs Post Independent. She is a member of the Garfield County Human Services Commission. To contact her with a nonprofit event or inspiration, call 618-6689 or e-mail kayvasilakis@yahoo.com.


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