PROVO While Nu Skin employees and their children put together some 10,000 education kits destined for underprivileged kids in Utah, China and India, Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. on Wednesday recounted how his two daughters adopted from foreign orphanages began life.
The occasion also marked the launch of a refreshed Nu Skin corporate logo and branding effort that shows the direct-marketing company's effort to market its products globally.
Huntsman was dressed in denim, ready to assist the employees during their fifth annual Force for Good Day. As a U.S. trade representative before he was elected governor, Huntsman "helped us get our foot in the door" in China and other Asian countries, Steve Lund, Nu Skin's vice chairman, said.
"I'm very touched by (the Force for Good event). ... These acts of kindness go a long way," Huntsman said, recalling how he and his wife, Mary Kaye, adopted now 8-year-old Gracie Mei from a Chinese orphanage after she was abandoned in a vegetable market, and 2-year-old Asha Bharati, who was found abandoned on a dirt road in India shortly after she was born.
"Someone got to her before the animals did," he said.
Getting Asha took a year longer than expected because the Huntsmans failed the first paperwork test, he said. The family had to answer negatively to such questions as whether they had an attached garage (the century-old Governor's Mansion has an unattached carriage house), if they had equity in their house (which they don't because it's owned by the state) and if they had stable employment. Such trappings are important to the Indian government because they show wealth, Huntsman said.
The governor said he answered "no" to the latter question, too, because as an elected office holder he believes in term limits.
"So it took us a year to get Asha here," he said. "She's a human being, and she has a great future."
At the event, elementary student Becka Ward helped Utah Jazz dancer Brook Sellers put stickers in books that were going to children at 14 elementary schools in Alpine, Jordan, Nebo and Provo school districts.
At Farrer Elementary School, just a few blocks east of Nu Skin's corporate high-rise, underprivileged students will take the supplies home, Principal Don Dowdle said.
"They may not have a pair of scissors or paper at home to do their homework," he said.About 85 percent of the students qualify for free or reduced-priced lunches, while 65 percent speak English as a second language. The majority are Hispanic, he said, but the school also has a large population of Koreans. Nu Skin has helped the school many times over several years, including providing physical education equipment and library books, he said.