USANA Director, Inez Russell wakes up each morning with a specific purpose and goal in mind: make a difference in someone’s life.
It is a purpose many carry within their own heart, but Inez’s reason for doing so stems from a very specific incident while visiting her father in a hospital nearly 25 years ago. “I had an encounter with a 90-year-old woman who feared she was dying. She cried, asking me to stay with her and to not leave her alone. As I sat down beside her, she told me her whole life story. I brought her flowers and read to her, but mostly, I listened,” Inez says.
As hospital staff witnessed Inez’s compassion, they asked her to visit other patients in the hospital.
Friends for Life
Those experiences helped Inez realize she wanted to dedicate her life to serving others, but in order to do so she had to find an organization to align herself with. Inez spent months looking for a foundation whose purpose was to help care for the elderly who were alone. When she couldn’t find one, she decided to take the matter into her own hands.
“I started Friends for Life in a borrowed office, with borrowed furniture and a borrowed computer,” she says. Since its inception in 1989, the organization has helped more than 22,000 elderly individuals—and those with disabilities—live independently for as long as possible while protecting and caring for those who are unable to do so themselves.
Working with other agencies to find ways they can help their clients, Inez spends each day serving those who can’t serve themselves. The experience has been nothing but life changing. “To say I love what I do would be a huge understatement,” she says. “I’m willing to do whatever it takes to make a difference in the lives of people in need.”
In the span of 25 years, Inez has impacted the lives of hundreds, and her kindness and dedication to others was recently highlighted on CNN Heroes.
“Being highlighted on CNN helped us shine a light on the elderly and the fact that so many are alone and struggling to do things we do every day,” she says. “Everyone needs someone who cares. Everyone needs to know they have a friend.”
“We get to make a huge difference in people’s lives, and we do it by being their friend.”
-Inez Russell (As told to CNNHeroes)
Armed with the outlook of serving others, it isn’t surprising that Inez has found the same satisfaction in USANA ever since she joined in 2007.
“The work I do at Friends for Life is a ministry, and I almost feel the same about my work with USANA. Both have taught me so much and given me opportunities to help people, and I am blessed to work with kind, generous, and caring individuals.”
Furthermore, Inez is pleased that both USANA and Friends for Life are centered on values. “I like to think integrity is common in ministries, but it’s a rarity in businesses,” she says. “With USANA, I feel fortunate to have found that.”
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