“It was during the National Horse Show,” begins Derbydown business manager Sally Yacka. “Everyone was there in Kentucky and seeing the devastation from Hurricane Sandy on the news. Louise [Serio] called me at home and said we had to do something to help.”
At the show, Serio immediately sought help from customers and friends. Everyone was eager to get involved.
On the home front, Yacka began by locating New Beginnings Church in Brick Township, New Jersey, a collection center that was seeking donations of just about anything that could be used by the thousands of people displaced from their homes. Her next step was Derbydown’s Facebook page where she put out a plea for help.
“It’s just amazing how fast stuff gets out there on social media!” claims Yacka. For two days there was a steady flow of people driving in and out of the farm with donations. Many people heard about it through Facebook, plus Locke Ellen Kelly [a Pennsylvania Horse Show Assn. Board member] got the word out at a horse show that really brought in a lot of stuff.”
The donations ranged from food to clothing to toiletries. Concord Pet Foods & Supplies donated a large amount of pet food which Yacka said was much appreciated “as there were a lot of dogs in a shelter right across the street from the church.”
As soon as Serio returned from Kentucky, they loaded up three trucks and horse trailers and she, daughter Chrissy and Yacka each drove one to New Jersey to make their delivery.
“Everyone was very thankful. And our timing was great as the food pantry was just about wiped out when we arrived,” says Yacka.