There's a great feature in O magazine called A Million Ways to Save the World, that every month provides four or five perspectives on how we can change the world around us. Some are simple, like random acts of kindness or replacing the light bulbs in your house with fluourescents to reduce global warming. Some are more complex, like making a commitment to a particular issue and vowing to make a difference. The message is that you can do something today or tomorrow that can change the world.
Regardless of whether it's big or small, it's the single act of making a commitment that really matters.
Five years ago, Alticor, the parent company of Amway and Quixtar, made such a commitment. That commitment was to focus its philanthropic efforts on improving the lives of children around the world. The idea was simple, yet powerful: by channeling our human and financial resources we could make a big difference in an area critical to the world's future. This effort was dubbed One by One, and the thinking was that every Alticor, Amway or Quixtar employee or IBO could make a big difference by committing to help kids in some way.
For some IBOs in this market, it's being a U.S. Dream Academy Mentor or participating in an Easter Seal Walk With Me event. Others provide funding to programs like Operation Smile or one of dozens of other children's charities that address global concerns. Some volunteer in schools, spend time in pediatric wards of hospitals reading books to patients, or like me, serve as a scouting leader or coach. Some give generously of their time, others with their dollars. But all are focused on helping kids in some way.
And when you add it all up, all these little commitments make a very big difference. How big? On a global basis, Amway, Quixtar and Alticor employees and IBOs have given more than 800,000 volunteer hours to children's charities. Sounds like a lot, doesn't it? Consider this. There are 8,760 hours in a year. This would be like nearly 1,000 people giving a year of their life to a children's cause — every waking and resting hour! And this is only in the first five years of the program.
The dollars are another matter. More than $50 million has been given to children's causes worldwide since 2003.
All said, more than 5.5 million children have been helped through the giving of hours and dollars to children's causes since One by One launched in 2003.
Thanks to every employee or IBO who has volunteered their time and energy for a children's cause. You're part of this amazing success story. And thanks to those who have participated in fundraisers to help raise needed funding for children's charities and organizations. You've helped make a difference.
And for those of you reading this thinking you don't have the time or energy to make a difference, think again. You don't have to have much time to give to be welcomed and appreciated — even an hour or so a month will make a difference. You don't have to make a long term commitement. All you have to do is visit a web site or pick up the phone and say, "I want to help." Make a commitment, and help make life better for children everywhere.