Sarah Nordby knows firsthand about the support an animal friend can provide.
So the 14-year-old recently decided to raise money at her church to buy feed and equipment to help support Glade Run Adventures’ animal-therapy program.
Sarah, the daughter of the Rev. Peter Nordby and Lisa Hildenbrand of Greensburg, has a Quarter Horse, Lucky Larky, and is an avid equestrian.
“My horse is my baby,” she said. “He’s helped me.”
The teen wanted to help make sure Glade Run’s youths can spend time with animals and decided “I’ll do whatever I can.”
Sarah attends St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Youngwood, where her father is the pastor. She said she got permission from the church council to ask congregants for donations to buy feed and supplies and raised $275.
With the money, she bought things such as horse feed, chicken feed, animal treats, a lead rope and a fly mask and also got a gift card for Tractor Supply Co., which sells a lot of items Glade Run Adventures needs. Also, she said, Springhouse Tack Shop Inc., near Greensburg, donated horse supplements and joint medication.
“We brought the stuff to church to show the people and brought it to Glade Run,” she said.
Sarah’s father said she always wants to help others. Previously, he said, she collected more than 100 blankets for a local animal shelter, which was her initiative, and she also has been a bell ringer for The Salvation Army and has collected food for the Westmoreland County Food Bank.
“She finds great satisfaction in reaching out to others who are in need,” he said.
Before she could ask the congregants for donations for this project, Sarah had to formulate her plan and then present it before the church council, the pastor said.
“That’s a big step for a 14-year-old,” he said. “It showed some leadership.”
Julie Wahlenmayer, director of Glade Run Adventures, applauded Sarah’s efforts.
“I was very grateful and a little surprised, just because we don’t have a lot of young folks taking up the initiative to take up a collection in their church,” she said.
Glade Run Adventures relies on the support of people such as Sarah, Wahlenmayer said.
“The program that we run is for a nonprofit, and therefore, every expense that we have, we have to find a way to cover it. Horses are very expensive,” she said. “Donations such as Sarah’s help us.”
Sarah was pleased with how her project turned out.
“I felt really good,” she said. “I know that hard work does pay off.”
About the Author
Madelyn Dinnerstein is a communications professional who previously worked for Trib Total Media, where she last was a weeklies editor whose job included being the primary editor for the North Journal and McKnight Journal newspapers. An enthusiastic juggler, she has volunteered as a juggling instructor for youths in Glade Run Lutheran Services’ residential treatment facility since 2001. Recently, she has been helping with public relations for Glade Run on a volunteer basis, as well.