Mother’s Day Mile’s global partnership |

Mother’s Day Mile’s global partnership

Nonprofit SpotlightKay VasilakisGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

Do something good for yourself and for Mom at the ninth annual Mother’s Day Mile event, to be held on Mother’s Day, May 11. Everyone in the family may either run or walk the one-mile course, which starts and finishes at the Glenwood Medical Associates parking lot. Each participant receives a goody bag, a fresh finish-line rose, a piece of homemade apple pie, and a chance to win age-group awards. If you need a gift for Mom, you can find something really nice at the big, tented silent gift basket auction sale.Two new and exciting things are happening at the Mother’s Day Mile this year. First, a new green team will be working to reduce waste by promoting reusable, recyclable and compostable products. The race is going “zero waste … or darn near close.”

And for the exciting part, the race has become a global partner with a women’s advocacy group in Africa. All the race awards have been handcrafted by the women of the Imani Workshop in Eldoret, Kenya. The Imani Workshop is a branch of the Family Preservation Initiative under the IU-Kenya Partnership AMPATH Program. The women of the workshop are HIV-positive and have lost their families and their jobs as a result of their diagnosis. The women are found in the streets of Kenya or referred by hospitals or social services. They are given job training to create specific crafts such as jewelry, clay products, bowls or other cloth goods. The products are sold as a fair trade business, with the artisans receiving cash for their products.Mother’s Day Mile race director Nancy Reinisch became involved with the Imani Workshop through her son, Chas Salmen, who lived in Eldoret, Kenya, last year. He told her about the women in the Imani Workshop. Their stories reminded her of the stories of many of the women who are sheltered at the Advocate Safehouse Project. Though thousands of miles away, the women share similar life stories, and Nancy thought this would be a wonderful partnership for both advocacy groups. She contacted the workshop in Kenya and proposed an exchange of goods. They loved the idea, and a global partnership was born.All the Mother’s Day Mile awards have been handcrafted by the workshop for the race. Male winners will receive beautiful beaded bowls, and the women will receive rolled beaded necklaces made from recycled magazines. The overall winners will receive poah bead jewelry made from clay beads. Race volunteers will sell more crafts from the Imani Workshop at the Imani Workshop booth, including cloth bags, handmade paper cards and jewelry. These items are unique in that each one is handmade. They cost a bit more, because they are individually crafted. No mass production at this workshop. One extra Imani Workshop gift basket will be sold at the silent auction. Proceeds of the basket will go directly to the Imani Workshop women.

In exchange for selling the products, the Advocate Safehouse will get a percentage of the total sales. It’s a win-win opportunity for both advocacy programs.”Though we face different challenges, it is our hope to unite the Imani Workshop of Kenya and the Advocate Safehouse Project of Garfield County by working toward women’s safety and health,” explained Nancy. “In Swahili, ‘imani’ means hope. Come join us on Mother’s Day, bring your running shoes and your wallet to honor our sisters in Africa and our mothers in Colorado.”Kay Vasilakis’ “Nonprofit Spotlight” column runs every other Wednesday in the Glenwood Springs Post Independent. She is the media coordinator for the Garfield County Human Services Commission. To contact her, call 384-9118 or e-mail

When was the Mother’s Day Mile started in Garfield County? 1999What is it? A one-mile race/walk to benefit Advocate Safehouse Project of Garfield County’s domestic and sexual violence programs.Race categories: Four age-group waves of runners and walkers.Where is it? Glenwood Medical Associates parking lotWhen is it? 1 p.m. Mother’s Day, May 11Registration:; or; in person at Glenwood Medical Associates at 1830 Blake Avenue; or by calling the Advocate Safehouse Project at 945-2632.

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