Need Groceries? Give Victoria Keith a Call

Victoria Keith | Keeneland


In every crisis, it's possible to find examples of kindness and generosity, of people reaching out to help total strangers out of the goodness of their heart. To focus attention on the many people in the industry who have stepped forward to help those who have been impacted by the coronavirus, the TDN has launched a series that we hope will put a smile on your face during these difficult times. We'll do our best to bring you a little bit of good news every day.

Like so many who work in the horse racing industry, Victoria Keith spent the last couple of days trying to figure out how she could help people who work in the racing business and are now facing problems due to the coronavirus. She couldn't donate millions and she can't help with any of the medical needs people may have, but she was determined to do something. So she came up with an idea, something simple yet powerful. She decided she would go grocery shopping for any racing people who live in the Lexington area and either can't get to the store or don't feel comfortable going out.

She reached out Friday via Twitter to those who may need her, writing: “If you know anyone working in horse racing in the Lexington area who has been affected by the coronavirus, not getting a paycheck and having difficulty affording food, give me a call and I'll go buy them groceries and deliver to them. 859-227-5441.”

That Keith would step forward was hardly a surprise. You knew she has a good heart because her job is to save horses that come off the track and find homes for them. Along with owner Rick Porter, she is the founder of the National Thoroughbred Welfare Organization, a horse rescue group that has concentrated much of its efforts on cleaning up the slaughter mess in Louisiana.

She said the idea just popped into her head.

“I don't really know how I came up with it, it was just instantaneous,” she said. “I am at home and I can get to the grocery store. I thought about it for no more than a second. I don't know if it really pertains to anyone or not. I just figured I would throw it out there. There might be some people who need some help and I am capable of doing it. I saw people posting about how you can give to this organization or that organization and that's great. It just occurred to me that I could go to the grocery store for someone. Give me your list of groceries and I can do it.”

Keith is healthy and has shown no signs of coming down with the virus herself, but her interacting with others, particularly those working at grocery stores, could put own well-being at risk.

“The reason why the grocery store is still open is that people still have to go to the grocery store, the drug store, things like that,” she said. “As for me, I feel ok. I have gone to the grocery store. I wipe down the handles and wipe my hands. Some people may not feel comfortable with that but I feel comfortable going. I feel safe to go get my own food so if I feel safe enough to get my own food I can get it for someone else and knock on their door and hand them a bag of groceries.”

She isn't quite sure who will come forward and accept her offer of help. The elderly are in particular need of help and she's also concerned about the many employees Keeneland hires to work at its racing meet. With Keeneland having announced that the spring meet has been cancelled there will be more than 1,000 part-time workers who will be missing out on income they had been depending on.

“I don't know who is being affected in horse racing,” she said. “We know there are people that have been hit.”

While focusing on the impact coronavirus is having on the people who work in racing, Keith is also concerned about what problems it may cause for the many horse rescue groups out there that rely on donations. The country is already facing tough economic times, and they figure to get worse before they get better. When people are struggling, charitable donations are among the first things they cut back on.

“The problems the economy is having can have an effect on our charity,” she said. “Like Trump, I believe once this is over, everything will bounce back pretty quickly. I certainly hope so.”

First things first. Keith is not only a great example of the spirit that is part of horse racing, she knows there are many more out there just like her. She says that if her initiative to buy groceries for people takes off and she needs help that “it will take me two seconds to find 200 people who will help me with this.”

She considers herself lucky.

“I am fortunate,” she said. “I get to work from home and my job with Rick Porter has always been working at home. I'm not sick, I'm not affected. Hopefully, the economy will bounce back quickly and everything will be good again. If there is anything I can do, I will. Maybe I'm being selfish because I know if I can get groceries for someone it will make me feel good.”

Selfish? Not in the least.

Do you know of an individual or an organization that is helping others in racing during this time of need? If so, please let us know. Bill Finley can be reached at [email protected].

Not a subscriber? Click here to sign up for the daily PDF or alerts.

Copy Article Link

Liked this article? Read more like this.

  1. Beholder and Songbird, Inextricably Linked After the 2016 Distaff
  2. Fox Hill Farms' Run Has Come To A Close
  3. De Sousa, Marquand Share Longines IJC Title
  4. Croke Park Tops Goffs UK Aintree Sale
  5. Capacity Crowds Expected For DWC Night

Never miss another story from the TDN

Click Here to sign up for a free subscription.