The USANA Foundation has worked with thousands of different partners, ambassadors, and communities around the world. Many of those individuals that we work with have a passion for helping others and are looking to make a difference in the world. Some people love to fundraise, others love to serve, and a select few make it their business to get directly involved with full-time charitable organizations. Our close friend and partner, Sheetal Patel, does all of these.
At a Young Age
When asked about her journey with helping others, Sheetal’s story starts far back in her early childhood days. Despite growing up in the US, Sheetal would often visit India with her family each summer to see family and connect with her roots. It was during these frequent visits that she came into contact with many people who were in need. What started as a desire to give away small items of food and clothing as a child and teen, eventually evolved into much larger and purpose-driven visits. This passion carried over to her home in the US, where she would always donate money from her paychecks to local shelters, the Red Cross, and the Ronald McDonald House. That evolved into doing Cancer walks, serving with local churches, and working in hospitals and at homes to assist the elderly.
When asked about her support of so many different groups and causes, Sheetal replied,
“I want to help anybody and everybody. I always want to be helping.”
In recent years, Sheetal has continued to serve and has visited several orphanages in India. During one visit, she spent nearly a week with many children with special needs. She learned with them, fed them, and played with them. This passion was also brought home as she discovered an opportunity to serve on the board of directors of an organization called Gracious Hands, an orphanage that houses over 40 children in Haiti.
Be the Example
Working from her home in Florida, Sheetal now focuses a lot of her effort on raising her children to follow her example of love and service. She continues to provide support and direction to the expanding Gracious Hands group in Haiti. Regarding her recent work with the orphanage, Sheetal stated, “I have fallen in love with the children at Gracious Hands and love seeing them grow and progress.”
To ensure that the children she serves are continually fed and provided with growth opportunities, Sheetal goes out and fundraises directly for this cause that is close to her heart. About to complete her second fundraiser in only six months, it is clear that she is serious about making a difference and is not afraid to be the one to start conversations about helping others.
Food for Thought
*If you are interested in also fundraising for a food-related cause that you care about, please sign up to participate in the USANA Foundation’s matching grant program today.