COMMUNITY HEROES: Elizabethton native inspiring change in the community

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JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Angelee Murray is an Elizabethton native, known for working to empower others in her community.

She is also one of the state’s Faces of Opioids, sharing her story of addiction and recovery.

“She’s always ready to reach out and help anyone in need,” director of the Washington Health Department Christen Minnick said.

When you are in a room with Angelee Murray, you will not ever be overlooked.

“She becomes friends and partners with everybody that she works with. That makes her an asset to our community,” Minnick said.

She strives to empower those around her.

“Everyone has value. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from. It doesn’t matter your level of education or your title at work. It doens’t matter your level of income or what side of the tracks that you live on,” Angelee Murray said.

She is committed to giving and helping others.

“I’ve seen her provide clothing for people and given them an option for what they wanted to choose when they were in recovery. I’ve seen her provide education resources, hygiene items, food items,” Murray said.

She also helps remove people from the dark hole they may be stuck in.

Minnick said, “She knows how to link people who may be at a vulnerable point in their life to their services and the other people who might be able to help them.”

After conquering her addiction to opioids, Murray created a non-profit called Red Legacy Recovery in 2012, to help women who are battling with substance abuse and incarceration.

“Her specific organization, it’s really helped us with the health department to be able to fullfil our mission as well, which is to protect, promote and improve the health and prosperity of the people in the state of Tennessee,” Minnick said.

Now, as the director of corporate and community development for ReVIDA, Murray helps heal those suffering from drug use.

“That’s truly what a hero is; put their needs and their desires to the side to step up and help those in need,” Minnick said. “The thing I admire most about Angelee is her energy. She is always ready to go, ready to help, ready to go, ready to serve. I don’t know where she gets her energy from but it’s truly inspiring.”

Murray believes the real heroes in our community are the men and women she has met on this journey called life.

“I don’t really think there is something called a ‘community hero’ without having other people that work with you and that help you build relationships, worked with us over the past years, build relationships, build partnerships to help individuals in our area to reclaim their lives, whether that’s from homelessness, substance use disorders from mental health challenges,” Murray said.

Angelee Murray said the people who have inspired her the most were her parents.

She said, “The reason I say my parents, and also my sister, because the three of them have embodied the example of never giving up. They never give up, they never have excuses, or anything at all. All three of them are very, very generous people and they give without expecting anything in return. I can appreciate that and that inspires me to do the things that I do in life. I hope that I can live up to who they are and how they live their lives as an example.”

The best advice she was given was from her maternal grandmother, Amy Markland.

“She taught all of us years ago, if you’re going to say something, make sure that it’s nice. If you don’t have anything good to say then don’t say,” Murray explained. “Always finding the good in each person. I think all of us have faults and all of us have challenges. All of us have things that aren’t perfect but if we can look for the good in each person then we can also inspire them to do better and be better.”

Murray has accomplished many things but the one thing she is most proud of is being Miss Go-Give with Mary Kay Cosmetics.

“That’s a person who gives without an expectation in return and lives by the golden rule and helps others. One year, I was the Sapphire giver in the nation. That was an amazing thing and that’s the thing I am most proud of. I hope that I can live my life in that way in the community as well,” Murray said.

If you know a Community Hero, click here and scroll to the bottom of the page to nominate them.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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