About 55 women turned out to celebrate the Rev. Jean Russo Friday, Feb. 1, during the Church Women United of Manatee County's Human Rights Celebration at the Longboat Island Chapel. Each year, the group recognizes an individual who has shown compassion to those less fortunate, said chapter President Sandra Holley.
Since 1976, Russo has served in the Russo Prison Ministry, started by her late husband, Jim. It is a faith-run halfway home, where men just released from prison can begin to let their guard down and feel accepted.
“We help them to grow in their faith and become contributing members of our community,” Russo said.