State Farm’s Good Neighbor – March 2019
Jeni-Lei Powell is a no-nonsense woman who has cut a clear path for herself in what some would call a man’s world. Her unique brand of entrepreneurship has been cultivated over the course of almost thirty years in the pawn industry. After starting her first Pawn shop by putting out all of her own belongings out for sale in and creating her own pawn contract she was off to the races. Twists and turns have lead her to where she is now as the owner of Ruby Mountain Pawn.
She is a “Jeni of all trades”, made clear when we sat down and I was able to see her three page resume with everything on it from short order cook to police officer. She has an extensive background and experience in a great number of areas. It is easy to see that Jeni-Lei has spent very little time in her life being bored. She currently is an owner or partner in five businesses, and sits on or works directly with 23 local non-profit or charitable organizations. With that kind of sweeping outreach it is hard to imagine a life that Jeni-Lei has not touched within our community.
In 2010 Live Rude Girls was born. Live Rude Girls is a non profit group that was developed from the desire to help people in our community who needed it. Jeni-Lei and others set out hard and fast devoting a lot of time, money and energy to giving back where ever they could through Live Rude Girls. Quickly this became more than their group could take on alone and along the way what had started out as a group of women (with a few men joining the ranks as time went on) banded together helping a community in need, turned into Purple Providers.
Purple Providers LLC is joined in a Community of Caring. They focus on providing hope one care package at a time to those receiving long-term treatment for a life threatening illness and their primary care giver. They also have a division within Purple Providers calles OPPS Elko. OPPS Elko stands for Operation Purple Provider Service. These packages go to deployed soldiers and first responders. All of the community care packages contain day to day items to help provide comfort and support for each individual who receives them. All of the items contained in the packages have been donated by individuals and small businesses throughout the local community.
Jeni-Lei shared one of her favorite stories of how OPPS Elko has helped a soldier while being out on deployment. Eric had been out on missions for weeks straight while deployed in the Middle East and he and the rest of his unit were exhausted. They were just finally returning back to their base camp after another round of missions and they loaded into the back of a Humvee with quick rations of food thrown at them and their mail. He received a box from home that was his OPPs Elko shipment. Jeni-Lei has a picture of Eric slouched over his box from exhaustion. It was the comfort of having a piece of home that had finally allowed him the peace to get some rest, even if it was hunched over a box in the back of a humvee half way across the world.
Purple Providers is always looking for new businesses or individuals who want to get involved and become a Purple Provider. They strongly encourage everyone to become active in their #Communityofcaring. Whether you are able to donate chapsticks, or maybe sew blankets for patients to use while they are getting treatments you would be making an impact in that patients life. In 2018 Purple Providers was able to give out over one hundred care packages.
Jeni-Lei also started working with Cell Phones for Soldiers when her step-son was deployed overseas. This organization is able to take old cell phones and use them to recycle them and purchase calling cards that soldiers can use in order to call their family members back home. This is an amazing program when it can cost as much as $55 a minute in order to call the United States when deployed. She has coordinated multiple drop off locations across North Eastern Nevada to support the cause.
Jeni-Lei’s heart is truly as big as her ambition. She will tell you that her personal motto is, “My mind is my weapon, everything else is an accessory.” Her thirst to better herself and her community is matched only by her thirst to empower and mentor others. She is a straight forward, take it as you see it, smart, resourceful, and empathetic woman. Thank you Jeni-Lei for creating a #communityofcaring and being a Good Neighbor.
If you have someone you would like to nominate as a Good Neighbor please call Kayla at 775.738.3423 or email Kayla.firstname.lastname@example.org