Archive for January, 2011

Goal by Goal renewed with AC Milan

Monday, 31 January, 2011

Amway announced that it will renew the successful Goal by Goal program with the AC Milan soccer team in Italy.

Previously, Goal by Goal triggered an Amway donation to a children’s cause every time Ronaldinho scored a goal. Now, the program has been extended to the entire AC Milan team. For every goal scored, Amway will donate $2,500 through the Amway One by One Campaign for Children.

Amway Area manager Fabrizio Suaria recently kicked off the program with an $85,000 check for the the AC Milan Foundation to cover 34 goals that were scored by the team so far this season. Donations will be used toward the construction of a sports center in Naples, Italy to create a safe environment for at-risk youth and “restore the role of sports an educational medium.”

Last season’s donations enabled the construction of a similar sports center in Pagliare di Sassa, L’Aquila, and the previous year’s program supported the Buzzi Children Hospital in Milan.

Go Milan!

Study shows strong giving by entrepreneurs

Friday, 28 January, 2011

A new study reveals that entrepreneurs allocate more than twice the percentage of profits to charity than many of America’s largest companies

According this Fidelity and Ernst & Young survey of 150 CEOs, nine out of every ten entrepreneurs donate money to charitable causes and 70% donate their time.

Many also agreed that giving back was something already in their business plan before they became successful, and most said that volunteering and donating is an important part of their companies’ policies for all of their employees. In fact, the majority (61%) of respondents say that being an entrepreneur makes them more inclined to give to charity.

The study found that the number one reason that entrepreneurs support corporate giving is because it allows them to integrate their own personal values of giving into their corporate values.

Of course, this is not new news to us at Amway. Our three million distributors around the world are driven entreprenurs and driven philanthropists. They have been a major part of us raising more than $112 million through our One by One Campaign for Children. And giving has been a part of our company’s philosophy since two entrepreneurs started it 50 years ago.

Amway entrepreneurs share their time, their profits and their motivation with those around them. This study proves what we see every day: giving back is just part of the job.

Rewards you can never imagine

Wednesday, 26 January, 2011

Our team has been admiring the work of Amway distributor Beverly Sallee Ophoff ever since we launched the One by One campaign. But I really didn’t get a sense of the scope and diversity of her philanthropic activities until she was featured in Achieve Magazine last month.

Beverly is a 29-year Amway distributor who has achieved the Crown Ambassador level of achievement and built a large and respectable business around the world.

I came across her work firsthand in South Africa, where we visited a SOS Children’s Village in Cape Town. There, she had introduced a group of Amway distributors in her network to the SOS organization, and they quickly found ways to support the village and mentor the children and Home Mothers.

What I learned in the Achieve article is that gave up a career in music in order to build her business, with a focus on helping women earn their independence.

Beverly has been involved in everything from music scholarships and music festivals to orphan care and the prevention of human trafficking.

Her approach to business success is simple. “I define myself as someone who earns money to give money away.” She says that this type of generosity brings, “rewards you can never imagine.”

Equal in Sport

Monday, 24 January, 2011

 Amway continues to elevate the awareness of children with disabilities in Russia by providing them with opportunities to participate in sports.

 Last fall, Amway created the “Equal in Sport” program, where children with disabilities, and children from low income families, joined soccer teams weekly practice and two playoff matches.

There were 8 teams from 4 cities, with 73 players in total. Each team that participated received a trophy. At the finale, they met local soccer stars and were given gifts: Nutrilite backpacks with souvenirs and Nutrilite vitamins.

The winning team, which happened to be “Futbolishka” from St. Petersburg, will receive a special prize in April. The entire team will participate in a special trip to Italy to visit the AC Milan professional soccer team, where they will meet superstar Ronaldinho.

Stay tuned for more in April!

Beauty, inside and out

Friday, 21 January, 2011

“It’s not a beauty pageant, it’s a scholarship program.”

Miss Congeniality taught us that in 2000, and in Washington state, Amway IBO Jolene Conat has created just this; a scholarship program for young women in the small town of Wenatchee.

Wanting to teach young women about mentor leadership, self-esteem and community involvement, Conat, along with her husband Art, began Nuestra Belleza Latina NCW (Our Latin Beauty) in 2008.

Young women, between the ages of 18 to 23, are eligible to register for the program and families of contestants are also encouraged to be involved in the process. The program is small enough that it is able to operate on donations and puts more focus on the young women in the program.

This annual competition includes a talent show, fashion selection, and an interview. Personal mentoring is also provided to each contestant. The winner receives a $2,500 scholarship, while the remaining finalists share $7,500 in scholarships.

“We wanted to focus on beauty that comes from within,” Conat said. “My hope is to make this program sustainable for the next 50 years.”

Thanks to Samantha Bourque for contributing to this story.

Why do we do this?

Thursday, 20 January, 2011

I’m often asked about the value of corporate citizenship. Why does Amway invest so much in these efforts?

The easy answer is that our company’s founders established community support as a priority from the beginning, and we are just carrying out this legacy.

But in the past decade, corporate social responsibility (CSR) has become much more intertwined with our business goals. And the role of business in addressing major social issues has become elevated over the past decade.

A recent study by Weber Shandwick asked Fortune 200 executives why they invest in corporate social responsibility. In the five primary findings, we find echoes of the Amway approach:

 

1. The primary reason companies invest in CSR is to make an impact on critical issues.

Our One by One program focuses on solving major issues, specific to the local countries we operate in. We have tackled child nutrition in the US, education for migrant children in China, support for orphaned teens in the Ukraine, and many others.

2. Nonprofit partners are vital to the success of CSR.

We have engaged with hundreds of partners. Many are local like Boys & Girls Clubs in our hometown. Many are multinationals like SOS Children’s Villages. We even work with government agencies in some countries.

3. Senior leadership support drives CSR success.

We are very fortunate that our President and Chairman champion our programs, as do the leaders in each country office. They can often be found visiting our One by One programs and jumping into volunteer efforts.

4. Most companies tackle multiple issues through CSR programs.

While we have focused on children’s issues to enhance our global impact, we focus on four categories: basic needs, education, special needs and recreation (Live, Learn, Achieve and Play). We also lead efforts to establish free and fair trade through direct selling worldwide.

5. CSR programs have multiple internal and external stakeholders.

We tap the resources of 3 million Amway distributors worldwide, but also rely on the volunteer efforts of our 14,000 employees.

So how do we differ? Well, we’ve been doing this much longer than others. But in many ways we simply reflect the trend and the willingness of businesses and many others to work together to make the world a better place.

An update from Buena Park

Tuesday, 18 January, 2011

The Boys & Girls Club in Buena Park recently sent us a link to a video that Club members made at the closing Harvest Party following this year’s Positive Sprouts gardening program:

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4355773/BG1910aproval.mov

What a great recap for the year!

Smile and world smiles with you

Monday, 17 January, 2011

The song says that when you’re smiling, the whole world smiles with you. But would the world smile with those who were born with cleft lips and palates?

For children with facial deformities, smiling can be impossible to do, both physically and emotionally. They often become outcasts because of the way they look.

Every year, one in every 600 children is born with facial deformities which can be corrected with a simple and inexpensive surgery.

Operation Smile works with local doctors and contributors to provide free reconstructive facial surgeries. Amway has found a great partner in Operation Smile over the years. We’ve supported missions in Thailand, China, South Africa and Vietnam over the years

The Amway for Thai Society Foundation has organized 13 missions that treated nearly 1,500 children. Amway Vietnam has organized 5 missions and treated more than 500 children. Amway China helped develop media advertising to promote Operation Smile missions and Amway South Africa provides oral care products along with monetary support.

And what would a One by One project be without employees and distributors volunteering their time to help. Whether they are organizing, helping to ease anxious and nervous parents, or playing with the children before the surgery, they do their best to  bring smiles back to their beautiful faces … so the world will smile with them too.

 

Amway Thailand Operation Smile Mission:

 

Amway Vietnam Operation Smile Mission:

Thanks to Sri Soekarmoen for contributing to this story.

Kids with a vision

Friday, 14 January, 2011

Kids see things differently than us grown-ups. We see snow and think bad roads. They see snow and think snow day. We see a puddle and walk around. They see a puddle and jump right in.

When Platinum-level Amway distributor Khris Nedam’s students heard of a war-torn Afghanistan, they put on their rain boots and leaped.

Twelve years ago, Nedam and her sixth grade students began Kids 4 Afghan Kids. After hearing about the lives and education systems in Afghanistan, this group of students immediately wanted to help. They set out to fund and build a school for a local village which had been without a formal education for 20 years.

They began raising money every way they could. Can collections, homemade crafts and snacks were just the beginning. The students visited Rotary groups, colleges, and universities and personally presented their ideas. While supervising her students’ efforts, Nedam began her own Amway business in order to make her own contributions to the cause. Overall, Nedam and her students raised a total of $110,000.

The school, which opened in March 2001, began with six teachers and 465 students. Now, it has grown to 1,200 students and 16 teachers with many students walking as far as four hours each way.

What began as a school in a rural village has now grown into a model project admired by many areas throughout the country. In addition to the school, Kids 4 Afghan Kids has added a health clinic, bakery, and a deep well to bring clean water to the village.

Nedam sees her Amway business as the key to sustaining this mission. “Today, my goal for my Amway business is to grow it to the point that I can completely support the operating expenses.”

And that may be the most visionary of all.

Nedam was featured in the latest Achieve Magazine for her efforts. Thanks to Samantha Borque for assembling this story.

Haiti one year later

Wednesday, 12 January, 2011

Twelve months ago today, we began hearing scattered reports about an earthquake in Haiti. It took awhile to grasp the magnitude of the damage and the loss of lives, but we soon found that this was one of the most devastating earthquakes in modern history.

Amway and its employees and distributors were quick to find ways to provide assistance. Cash donations … flights for for surgeons and aid workers … personal hygiene kits … water filters … vitamins … deliveries to Haitian Amway distributors.

We quickly raised over $1 million, and soon began to plan rebuilding projects. Our efforts in the past few months have been focused on a home for orphaned and abandoned children through SOS Children’s Villages.

So what’s happening today? Well, Haiti had its problems before the earthquake, and in many ways it is still in emergency relief mode. Yet there has been great progress as well.

The Red Cross reports that it has 24 international staff and more than 320 Haitian staff and paid workers at our headquarters in Port-au-Prince. The Red Cross is currently providing:

  • Transitional homes for 150,000 people
  • Cash grants and microloans to help more than 220,000 people with basic needs and to invest in small businesses
  • Clean drinking water for 317,000 people each day
  • Disaster preparedness programs to protect 500,000 people
  • Medical treatment at health facilities for 217,000 people
  • Community-based health services for 288,000 people
  • Emergency shelter materials for more than 860,000 people
  • Latrines for 265,000 people
  • Emergency supplies for 125,000 people for use during hurricane season

SOS Children’s Village recently sent this update:

  • The SOS Children’s Village in Santo, outside of Port-au-Prince, tripled in size. 421 children who lost their biological families now have stable homes at SOS-Santo. 124 children lived there prior to the earthquake.
  • At 100 distribution centers, SOS is currently providing 14,000 Haitian children per day with a nutritious meal. During the peak of the crisis, SOS fed 24,000 children per day.
  • School enrollment at the SOS Hermann Gmeiner School in the Santo Village has doubled to 921 children. Classes are now offered in two shifts for 1st through 9th grades.
  • Last January, the SOS Children’s Village in Santo proved a safe haven for 33 Haitian children whom U.S. missionaries attempted to transport to the Dominican Republic without proper documentation. SOS worked with Haitian child protection authorities to identify the biological families of these children and to reunite them.

Today is a good day to pause and take stock, pray for our friends and neighbors in Haiti, and remember those who are lost. It’s also a time to deepen our efforts to help. If you haven’t participated yet, please consider a donation through our Haiti Project.

Thanks to all the Amway employees, distributors, customers and friends around the world who continue to make a difference … one by one!