Archive for July, 2009

Three awards in China for citizenship activities

Friday, 31 July, 2009

In the past few months, Amway received several major awards for corporate social responsibility in China. They have a network of tens of thousands of distributors who volunteer together. They also have very innovative approaches to supporting their communities.

Project Sunshine

On March 31, Amway’s Project Sunshine received two recognitions from China Enterprise News, in the categories of “Excellent Corporate Social Responsibility Program for a Multinational Corporations” and “Most Innovative Corporate Social Responsibility Program.”

Due to a nationwide urbanization initiative in China, children of migrant families do not receive the same education and health support as other city children. Project Sunshine, a cooperation with the China Children and Teenagers Fund (CCTF), has begun to alleviate the difference by equipping schools with books and computers, educational speakers, tutors, special programs and integrated activities with urban schools.

In the next three years, more than 45,000 children will be empowered with knowledge through various activities that integrate migrant children with urban school children by Amway volunteers.

Project Sunshine Award

Project Sunshine Books Project Sunshine Teachers Project Sunshine Schools

Spring Bud Teacher Training Center

On May 31, in recognition of the Amway Spring Bud Teacher Training Center, Amway was granted the "China Children's Charity Award" by the All China Women's Federation (ACWF) and the China Children and Teenagers' Fund (CCTF) in the Great Hall of People in Beijing.

The Spring Bud program has been managed by these two organizations since 1989, with the goal of helping girls in poor areas of China to return to school. When the Sichuan earthquake hit in May 2008, schools were among one of the worst hit. Amway donated RMB 1.06 million to support the Amway Spring Bud Teachers Training Center in the disaster area to help rebuild the education infrastructure and repair the schools.

Spring Bud Training Center Spring Bud Teacher Training Spring Bud Teachers

Disaster Relief

On July 25, Amway made the list of the “Corporate Social Responsibility Top 50” published by the Hurun Research Institute in Shanghai. Amway was recognized for its contributions to disaster relief, children’s philanthropy and environmental protection.

The candidates were from the top 500 corporations and the Fortune 500 in China. The criteria included corporate social responsibility leadership including transparency (25%), charitable donations (25%), taxes paid (12.5%), number of employees (12.5%), employee management (12.5%) and environment protection (12.5%). Amway was the sole winner in the direct selling industry.

Congratulations to our friends in China, and all the great programs that support our local communities and demonstrate the values this company was founded on.

CSR Top 50

Mentoring day with our One by One photographer

Wednesday, 29 July, 2009

Michelle Andonian has travelled around the world documenting the Amway One by One Campaign for Children, since it was launched in 2003. Recently, some students and an instructor from the West Michigan Center for Arts & Technology visited Michelle at her studio. Following is a recap from Dennis Gantz, the photography instructor.

Here at the West Michigan Center for Arts and Technology, we believe that beauty begets beauty, and that if you provide individuals with opportunities to work in world-class facilities, with top-notch professional equipment and caring mentors, excellence will result. Consequently, I have seen a lot of outstanding artwork from the urban high-schoolers with whom we work, and been a part of some very life-affirming experiences during our four years of existence. Amway’s One by One program provided one of those experiences recently when Deb, Angela, and Robin treated two WMCAT students with a trip to Detroit for a visit with photographer Michelle Andonian.

Michelle is a terrific artist and a wonderful person. She went above and beyond in giving our young WMCAT photographers an idea of what it is like to be a professional in the field. Indispensable tips and insights were imparted throughout the day as we were treated to a barrage of pizza, a personal tour through Michelle’s portfolio, a chance to give input on a new and exciting video project for the Henry Ford Museum, and generally made to feel at home in her fabulous studio loft.

Perhaps the best part of the day was a guided tour to the Heidelberg Project, where we all indulged in copious picture-taking and had the opportunity to talk with artist Dr. Tyree Guyton, originator of the project. It was an eye-opening experience to be sure. Tyree’s project is a phenomenal achievement of tremendous magnitude, and a wonderful example of what can be accomplished if you follow your passion. His art is a lesson in perseverance and the power of creative energy. I have no doubt that our WMCAT students were indelibly impressed. I certainly was.

This kind of mentoring is a priceless tool for a high school graduate contemplating college and career. I brought home the memory of new friends and warm-hearted people sincere in their commitment to making the world a better place.

Dennis Grantz
Manager of Creative and Instructional Development
West Michigan Center for Arts and Technology

Daishonne Michelle Andonion and Tushona

Michelle Andonian

Heidleberg project

The group

Corporate citizenship is thriving

Friday, 24 July, 2009

Last week I attended a conference on Corporate Community Involvement in Chicago. I was interested to hear how the economic environment is affecting corporate citizenship in other businesses.

Despite the recession, Amway has continued to grow. We have also been fortunate to have solid backing of corporate citizenship values from our leadership. However, our company continues to push innovation, cost reduction and growth. So even though we are not facing the drastic pressures other companies are, we continually ask what we can do better, and how we can add business value.

What I saw with other companies is that corporate citizenship is not at risk of going away; it’s just beginning to grow in earnest. However, the outcomes of corporate citizenship activities are coming into sharper focus. And there is more focus on tying citizenship efforts to business value.

Companies used to measure success by the number of activities they are doing or the number of people served in our communities. Now we are asking what change our activities are making – what are the true outcomes.

We see that trend at Amway. We measure our One by One activity numbers – $70 million given, 1 million volunteer hours, 6 million children impacted. But at the local level, each program is measured by specific outcomes.

In Japan, we measure the level of awareness and reduction of child abuse and neglect. In Turkey, it’s the education level of children in an impoverished area of the country, served by a newly built school. In the Philippines, it’s literacy rates of the children who take part in a storytelling program with local distributors. In Australia, it’s how many special needs children have customized bicycles of their own. In West Michigan, it’s test scores of inner-city students who receive scientific calculators they cannot afford on their own.

The same holds for other aspects of corporate citizenship within our company, some that are just taking shape. We are looking at ways we can use our product knowledge to help children who are undernourished and to help families that do not have access to clean water. We are taking a comprehensive look at our operations and how we can make them even more sustainable – from energy reduction, to recycling, to the life cycle of our products.

Despite the severe economic climate, I’m not seeing companies looking for cuts or shortcuts in their citizenship activities. Instead, they seem to be incorporating sustainable, values-based solutions into the way they view innovation and they way they affect social issues around them. These efforts add measurable value to our communities, and to our companies.

It’s an exciting time to be part of this wave that will shape the way we do business in the future.

Results from Walk With Me – West Michigan

Wednesday, 22 July, 2009

As a follow-up to our post about the Easter Seals walk in West Michigan, we just got word that the event raised $62,000. What a great accomplishment for our local chapter!

There are many more walks across the country, with broad participation by IBOs in their local walks. Here’s to walking towards a better future for children with disabilities!

Pleasing the fireworks fans

Monday, 20 July, 2009

Angela Nelson from our Corporate Citizenship team sent me this note about the Amway sponsorship of the 4th of July Fireworks.

This 4th of July was particularly special as Amway sponsored the Grand Rapids Family Fireworks Celebration in honor of its 50th anniversary. We joined the thousands of families and friends in the park to celebrate our nation’s independence.

However, we were not the only ones thrilled to see the fireworks. The children receiving care at the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital were too. Below is a letter from the hospital staff informing us of what the fireworks mean to the patients.

I heard that Amway stepped forward to underwrite the fireworks celebrations for July 4th this year in Grand Rapids. If you talk to anyone involved, please extend our heartfelt thanks on behalf of the children and teens, who will be in the hospital over the 4th of July.

Many have been sad to be in the hospital around the holiday – but get so excited when they learn that they will have “the best seat in the house.” We gather patients in a playroom, the dialysis suite, patient rooms and find all windows facing west to view the spectacular celebration.

I have always enjoyed fireworks – but even more I enjoy getting to experience the reactions from these young patients and their families.  So, if you have the chance,  please extend our thanks to the DeVos and Van Andel families for making sure that as always these children will have the chance to enjoy the fireworks.

Party in the Park

Thursday, 16 July, 2009

A post from Lindsey Kerstetter.

Imagine yourself 40 feet up in the tower of an inflatable twisty slide, hunched over in a 4×4 covered cubby during the heat of the day with a constant flow of child visitors for two hours straight. That was me… and I loved every minute of it. 7,000 people came out to enjoy a day of free fun at Maranda’s Park Party at Garfield Park in Grand Rapids, Michigan and Amway volunteers were on hand to make sure the festivities ran smoothly. Proudly wearing Amway One by One t-shirts, they were distributing free lunches, handing out thousands of cheese curls and waters, directing traffic and manning the inflatable dixie twister… which happened to be my assignment, as mentioned above.

The dixie twister was one of the highlights of the park party, and it was obvious by the loooooong line of hundreds of people before the party even started. But when asked if the wait was worth it, kids gave a resounding “yes”! I was amazed at the bravery and sense of adventure as each child, big and small, climbed hand over hand up to the top. One boy told me he thought the dixie twister looked like a spaceship of which he was the commander and the people in line were his cadets. It was his imagination and creativity, coupled with the sense of victory as each child reached the top that made my crouching up top worthwhile. 

The other plus of being up so high was that I got a bird’s eye view of all the festivities. There was a climbing wall, super slide, basketball and a stage rockin’ all afternoon with local performers including, “School of Rock”, martial arts star Mariah Moore, the West Michigan Star, and break dancing sensation Christian! All of whom volunteered to offer a fun filled event for FREE.

Maranda

 7,000 attendees

Park Party

Intern Carnival

Tuesday, 14 July, 2009

The scoop on the Amway Intern Carnival from Corporate Citizenship intern Aaron Van Andel.

 What better way to spend a Tuesday afternoon than to be outside, under the sun at a carnival?  That is exactly what 50+ Amway interns did this past week.  With the help of Urban Family Ministries, an intern-run carnival provided happiness for more than 300 people living in the community surrounding Eastern Avenue.  Free food and games were enjoyed by kids of all ages and even a couple adults.

The day started out at 11:30am with the initial setup of the carnival.  Within thirty minutes the entire carnival was set up with plenty of fun activities for the kids to enjoy such as basketball, hula hoops, bouncing pens, a big slide and a dunk tank.  A gourmet meal consisting of hot dogs, popcorn, lemonade, and snow cones was also provided along with a face painting station run by some talented interns.  By the time the carnival was at its close, around 4:00pm, few children wanted the games to end but a great day had to be wrapped up.  Altogether the carnival was a phenomenal experience for both the families attending and interns volunteering.  As Don Vogel of Urban Family Ministries said, “It was amazing.” 

Interns getting ready

Hula

Dunk tank

 

Amway is on the road

Wednesday, 8 July, 2009

Here’s an update from the National Spotlight Tour in the US, from Lindsey Kerstetter, who was our representative at the One by One display.

During the week of June 22, I was in sunny Anaheim, California for the first stop of the Amway Global National Spotlight Tour. Ironically it was 15 degrees cooler in Anaheim then the heat wave in West Michigan, but it was California dreamin’ just the same.

Thousands of Independent Business Owners showed up with their family and friends in tow at the Anaheim Convention Center. They came to expose others to Amway, learn how to energize their own businesses and of course, get a taste of the new berry flavored energy bar! And it wasn’t just the tastes that whet their appetites, but the sights too.

The expo displays were abbreviated versions from the Amway Experience in Vegas during the Amway 50th events a month before. There was an Artistry catwalk, Nutrilite helix and gigantic One by One letters. That’s why I was there, for One by One. Yes, I was commonly the photographer who took people’s pictures in front of the huge letters, but I was also the one they talked to about their volunteer experiences and desire to be involved in something bigger than them… something that has impacted the lives of more than 6 million children.

One IBO came up to express his gratitude for the new KaBoom playground at his children’s school that was built by Nutrilite employees in Lakeview this past spring. Another couple shared how they hold an annual bowl-a-thon and golf outing to raise money for Easter Seals. And one woman stood for half an hour with tears in her eyes as she watched One by One stories unfold through video and absorbed the impact Amway partnerships have on children around the world.

The One by One Campaign for Children could be considered the softer side of the business, but important just the same. And although our booth did not draw the crowds of an Artistry makeover or Tolsum shave demonstration, the Spotlight Tour confirmed that IBOs believe in One by One and understand when you help a child, you help a community, you help the world – and that’s worthy of all our involvement.

The next spotlight events are planned for August 6-8 in Baltimore, Md.; August 13-15 in Seattle, Wash; September 3-5 in New York, NY; and September 10-12 outside of Chicago, Ill. So mark the dates on your calendar… and if we’re in a city near you, come visit and share your volunteer stories with us. Hint: we’ll be the people by the big One by One letters  Better yet, share your stories anytime here on the blog or on the One by One website. We love to hear from you!

California spotlight_Nutrilite

California spotlight_One by One

California spotlight_Artistry

Helping 350 kids get their "freedom wheels"

Tuesday, 7 July, 2009

Our partnership with cricket star Adam Gilchrist (mentioned in previous posts) produced some fantastic results. Adam delivered a cheque on behalf of Amway that will provide 350 modified bikes for children with disabilities.

What a great partnership for One by One in Australia! Following is the press release and some photos.

Adam Gilchrist

Check Presentation

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Nutriway Ambassador Adam Gilchrist today handed over a cheque for $215,000 to TAD organisations around Australia to help fund 350 modified bikes for children with disabilities.

Each bike is modified to allow children to enjoy riding a bike for the first time.

“As a father of three, I know bikes make kids happy. With this funding, we can help fund 350 bikes for children with disabilities,” Adam Gilchrist said.

Adam Gilchrist accepted Amway’s challenge to hit 25 sixes during the recent IPL to earn $15,000 of funding for bikes.

Adam hit 29 sixes, up from 19 sixes during the previous season.

“This challenge was one of my secret weapons – nothing is more rewarding than to imagine a smile on a child’s face,” Adam Gilchrist said.

Today, Amway announced it is providing $200,000 funding to give the gift of wheels to children with disabilities. In total, Amway will help fund 350 modified bikes and provide $215,000 as part of its One by One Campaign for Children.

The bikes will be delivered across Australia through Amway’s Freedom Wheels initiative, which Amway runs in partnership with the Technical Aid to the Disabled (TAD).

“Amway is delighted to be helping so many children. You only have to see the smiles on the faces of children and listen to their parents to know this is a great charity. Special thanks goes to Adam Gilchrist for his fantastic support,” Tony Greig, Amway spokesperson, said today.

Freedom Wheels Kids

Candace Matthews

Dia del Sol

Thursday, 2 July, 2009

Another guest blogger joins us this week. Debb Kalmbach is Manager of our Global Corporate Citizenship department, and also serves on the board of directors of Grandville Avenue Arts & Humanities near Amway headquarters.

The Cook Arts Center of the Grandville Avenue Arts & Humanities organization was alive with activity on the evening of their “Dia del Sol” event last week. As we walked up to the front steps of the Arts Center, we were greeted by dancers from Grupo Tarasco, a dance company of the Cook Arts Center. They entertained guests with their fun music and brightly colored dresses all in the beautiful sunny evening. A perfect “day of the sun”.

Grupo Tarasco Grupo Tarasco

As the only fundraiser, Dia del Sol is supported by the community and local artist, with all proceeds going to support the operation of Grandville Avenue Arts & Humanities in Grand Rapids. This organization serves children and families with the mission “to transform lives in the Grandville Avenue neighborhood through reading and the arts and by celebrating the community’s cultural richness.” Check out their website.

Inside we were treated to great food from Tommy Fitzgerald Group and entertainment from Son de Mexico.

During the short welcome program two kids from the neighborhood, Carlos and Jessica, spoke about what the art center and library mean to them. It reinforced the reason that I am involved with this organization. Carlos will be in 7th grade next year and  has been coming to the arts center after school for 3 years now. His favorite afterschool activities are pottery, cooking and gardening.

Jessica recently moved here with her family from Nevada. She introduced herself to our librarian before the new library building even opened and has been very helpful first as a volunteer and now as an intern. She’ll be a senior in high school next year and is looking forward to attending college after that.

I serve as Vice President on the Board of Directors of the Grandville Avenue Arts and Humanities. I love to visit the Cook Arts Center and the Cook Library Center. There is usually a buzz of activity from the neighborhood kids who come to visit after school.

At the library, you’ll find books to read, tutors to help with homework, computers to research information, and advice from “Ms. Sue” on which books are on the must read list. The arts center is also busy with music (keyboard and guitar), dance and art classes.

I love being involved with an organization that is dedicated to offering kids something constructive to do with their time…it’s great to see their progress and interest in the programs and the impact it makes on their lives…One by One.