Chester Resident Helps Raise Funds for Potbelly Haven

By Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

Karen Ferrone, of Chester, identifies as a doer. “You can’t keep me quiet,” she said, as she excitedly spoke about her volunteer endeavors. “I try to help everybody. I’m on the ambulance squad. I did a collection for Crocs for hospitals. When I heard about Potbelly Haven, I said I could help.” 

Potbelly Haven at Color of Heaven Farm is located at 262 Musconetcong River Rd., Washington, NJ. And it’s a cause dear to Ferrone’s heart. The eight-acre farm is run by Holly Smith and Scott Goldberg. It’s a non-profit 501 charity pig rescue organization. Their mission is to advocate and shelter companion pigs. 

In addition to 18 pigs, Smith and Goldberg also care for two horses, two donkeys, 16 cats, and turtles. “Holly just loves animals,” said Ferrone. “The pigs are potty trained and allowed to come in the house. Scott built pens for them. They all have blankets.” 

It all started when a pig needed a home back in October 2021. A year later, Smith and Goldberg were up to 13 pigs. Now there’s 18 because one of the pigs was pregnant and gave birth to five piglets. 

“The babies are adorable,” said Ferrone. The piglets are named Waylon, Hank, Loretta, and Patsy, after country singers. In fact, all the pigs are named after musicians. The mother is named Dolly, for Dolly Parton. There’s also an “Elvis” on the premises. 

Billie (after Billie Holiday) was born with a handicap. Her back legs won’t be strong enough to support her as she gets heavier, so she needs wheels.  

Of all the pigs, “Piggie Smalls” is Ferrone’s favorite. “He’s orangey,” she said. “He seems to have a fun personality. They all have very different personalities. Two are skittish. And the babies are a little skittish. One or two think they’re the boss. When I was playing with the babies, Dolly, the mother, wanted to be a part of it.” 

Ferrone first learned about Potbelly Haven when her son became friends with Goldberg’s son, which led her to Smith’s social media page. When Ferrone spotted the sneaker bin, she figured, “It’s not very hard to have a bin in your driveway. The bin is outside of my garage. People have no question to where the sneaker bin is.” Ferrone shares her private address on a private local Chester social media page that is for the community residents only. 

The way money is raised by collecting sneakers is that collects sneakers for those in need who live in other countries. The purpose is to keep sneakers out of the landfill. “If sneakers are in superb condition, they give seven dollars per pair,” said Ferrone. “If not, a quarter.” She further explained that the sneakers have to be in pairs. 

The money raised helps the pigs tremendously. It goes to feed, lumber, fencing, outside pens, and a heated doghouse for each pig. “It’s a very expensive process,” said Ferrone. “They need money for the vet. They need money to get them [the pigs] fixed. They need blankets. It’s an everyday thing.” 

While Smith and Goldberg have the space, they need more pens, more food, and more money for vet visits. They also need volunteers to help not only give them water, but attention. 

Potbelly Haven at Color of Heaven Farm is a NJ nonprofit 501 public charity. They accept monetary donations at:


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