A head iconMeet The Mercy Pedalers

An image of Sister Libby smiling on a bike

Sister Libby Fernandez, RSM

Sister of Mercy since 1990
Founder of Mercy Pedalers, 2017
Masters in Social Work from California State University of Sacramento (CSUS) 1990
Former Executive Director of Sacramento Loaves & Fishes, 2006-2017

“I am humbled and blessed to be the Founder of Mercy Pedalers established September 1, 2017.
Through my 20 plus years of working directly with people experiencing homelessness on the streets of Sacramento, I found that being present in the moment, sharing a cup of coffee together, and calling the person by “name” are the most important gifts one can offer. As a Mercy Pedaler my daily mission is to “welcome” each person I meet with dignity and respect.”

An image of a woman smiling

Lynn Whitney

Retired Public Health Nurse & Geriatric Nurse Practitioner for over 40 years
Volunteer with Lend-a-Heart Pet Therapy
Current private practice in Holistic Healing—Massage and Bowen and other healing modalities to relieve stress, pain and restore mobility

“As a Mercy Pedaler my mission is to radiate love and goodwill to all souls”

An image of a man smiling

Mark E. Merin

J.D. University of Chicago Law School, 1968
LL.M. New York University School of Law, 1970
Admitted to Practice Law in California since 1969
The Law Office of Mark E. Merin focuses on the protection of a broad range of civil and constitutional rights. The office has represented classes of homeless persons whose property has been destroyed by city and county law enforcement; persons and the families of person abused by police through false arrest and application of excessive or deadly force; discrimination against protected minority groups, and representation of persons whose right to free speech has been violated.

“I believe that our society functions in the interest of those with money and the political power that goes with it, and fails to provide for and protect the poor and vulnerable who are surplused by an economy that cannot provide living wage jobs for all who want and need them. I am moved to work with homeless persons to give them hope that, with organization and support, a better day will come, a more equitable society will result, and homelessness will be eradicated.”

An image of a man smiling

Michael Saeltzer

Background in education having spent early years teaching elementary school
Worked in social services in direct care, supervision, and program management
Administrator at the UC Davis Medical School in the Department of Family and Community Medicine
Currently a local Realtor

“I have passion for serving and connecting to the people and communities of Sacramento. Currently I am redoubling my efforts at spiritual development by practicing being in the present moment and accepting others for whom and where they are no matter their current situation. I believe that every interaction with another person is sacred and an opportunity for each to grow.”

An image of a smiling older man Mercy pedaler volunteer

Richard Hernandez

Director of Outreach – St. Francis of Assisi Parish
Retired – Hyatt Regency Sacramento – Director of Human Resources
Vietnam Vet
President, Rainbow Chamber of Commerce

As the Director of Outreach, it has been an honor to witness the incredible efforts of our parishioners in welcoming and providing services to those in need. We are an inclusive parish that respects the dignity of all persons and support the journey of each person.

“As a Mercy Pedaler, my commitment is to serve those in need with dignity, respect, presence, and love.”

An image of Richard and Sandra smiling

Richard R. Nelson (Rick)

30 Year career, Sr. VP, Financial Advisor, Morgan Stanley, Retired
BS Business, BYU

Advanced Training, Wharton Business School
Former Board Member & President (2 Yrs) Sierra College Foundation, Rocklin California
Married, 4 Children, 6 Grand Children
Resides in El Dorado Hills

Sandra L. Nelson (Sandi)

BA Liberal Arts, BYU
Long time Human Rights Advocate

Volunteer at NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Illness) in Sacramento
Volunteer at Loaves and Fishes, Mary’s House & Mustard Seed School
A deep love and affection for all animals, especially my horses

“We are celebrating our 38th wedding anniversary this year, have raised 4 children and have 6 grandchildren.

We are a backpacking, fishing and scuba diving family. Together, we are committed to sharing our time and talents with others to make a difference, especially with those less fortunate.

We have been for years and continue to be proud supporters of Loaves & Fishes, The Make-A-Wish Foundation and The Sierra College Scholarship program.

We will take our passion to the streets to assist those in need in any way we can. We recently lost an adult son to suicide, after he suffered for many years with mental illness.

So, we are familiar with some of the issues many homeless people deal with daily. We feel blessed now to be able to help others.”

An image of a young woman Mercy pedaler volunteer

Tamara Edge

US Navy Veteran
Bachelors of Psychology
Volunteer at Loaves & Fishes
Volunteer Prison Family After Care
Volunteer Saint Vincent de Paul, Young Catholic Adults at Blessed Sacrament

“My experience with the homeless community was forged in Sacramento. Upon serving with several organizations, I realized that each person has a story worth telling, and it our privilege to listen.

By giving each individual the ability to tell their story we allow them to gain dignity, by knowing their name we convey their importance, and by fostering an environment of love we reach out to those most in need.

As a Mercy Pedaler, my mission is to show mercy, love and compassion reaching those who society has forgotten.”

An image of a bearded mercy pedaler volunteer

Austin Edge

US Navy Corpsman Veteran (FMF) (RET)
Volunteer at Loaves and Fishes
Volunteer Prison Family Aftercare
Volunteer Saint Vincent de Paul, Young Catholic Adults at Blessed Sacrament

“I became inspired to work with the homeless by the organizations I found in Sacramento.

Instead of averting our eyes to those standing on our street corners and sleeping in our alleyways, we are called to embrace the poor, and give compassion to those in need. By reaching out in love, through simple acts of mercy we provide dignity to those who are most marginalized.

By taking the time to listen, call them by name, or offer food, we create a mission of mercy that can change the lives of those we encounter.

As a Mercy Peddler, I have the privilege of promoting change in my community by serving the least of us.”

An image of a woman smiling next to a bike

Donna Hoenig-Couch, LCSW

Live Oak Center for Psychotherapy and Education

Center for California Studies, California State University, Sacramento 1992-2013
Mercy Pedalers offers our Sacramento community a way to meet and connect with one another face to face, warm hand to warm hand.

“I am inspired to join the Pedalers in the simple act of pumping up my bike tires, slowing down, and meeting with people where they are in a mutual moment of shared humanity: one cup of coffee, one cold drink, one story, one ounce of hope, one smile at a time.”

An image of an older man

Gale Filter

Retired environmental prosecutor and educator. Passionate photographer.
Masters in Public Policy from Governors State University (1975)
Juris Doctor from the University of San Diego (1989)
Former Chief of Enforcement (Cal/EPA, Department of Toxic Substances Control), Deputy Executive Director (California District Attorneys Association)

“I currently work as a volunteer photographer at Loaves and Fishes. This past year I have come to learn two things:

photography provides a powerful means to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves;

and, in the eyes of many homeless, as Alfred Tennyson put it, one finds the ‘homes of silent prayers.’

I am excited about joining Mercy Pedalers and putting my camera on wheels.”

An image of a man named Malcom

Malcolm Hotchkiss

B.B.A. degree from California Coastal College
CEO of First ULB Corp. and its subsidiary, United Business Bank (formerly, United Labor Bank, F.S.B.), 1994-2016
Currently President of ULB Corp.
Volunteer at Loaves & Fishes, Friendship Park