Archive for February, 2011

The magic of children’s art

Monday, 28 February, 2011

I have three pictures from my kids hanging in my office that I can’t take down. They say so much about their personalities and their outlook on life.

 

In the Amway World Headquarters building, we created a gallery of children’s art to tell the One by One story. Programs in India and China are taking the concept a step further.

Through its Amway One by One support, leaders at Amway China found that many of the children it served were very gifted artists. Touched by this creativity, they held a painting contest called, “My Beautiful Hometown.” More than 300 pictures were collected nationwide and displayed online. Around 100 were awarded, with some made into elaborate cards and calendars as gifts to celebrate the new year.

  

In India, the Amway Opportunity Foundation has held an art contest in 50 cities around the country for the past twelve years. More than 10,000 children participate this year. Local teachers serve as judges and six children receive national recognition.

    

Do you have a favorite hanging on your refrigerator, or mounted in a frame?

Thanks to Raj Narain and Sherry Chen for sharing these stories.

We need your votes!

Friday, 25 February, 2011

We have entered our video about the Amway Positive Sprouts program into a film festival, and we need your votes!

The Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship will award the winner of its annual film festival in April. The top 10 finalists will be determined by a public vote, which lasts until March 10.

Please click here to view the submissions and cast your vote. Ours is in the third row up from the bottom on the right hand side (they are in random order this year).

And if you haven’t yet heard about the Amway Positive Sprouts program, we will be talking about it more this year. It began in 2010 as a new partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America to teach kids about healthy nutrition by helping them build their own edible gardens.

We hope this contest is a way to validate the amazing work begun by Amway Independent Business Owners and Boys & Girls Club members.

Amway One by One numbers are in!

Wednesday, 23 February, 2011

Last year was important for the Amway One by One Campaign for Children.

We made huge leaps in our metrics. Volunteer hours exploded, with more than a million volunteer hours logged in a single year.

Through Amway, employee, distributor and customer efforts focused on children since 2003, we have now accomplished:

8 million children impacted 

2.3 million volunteer hours

$141 million contributions

Thanks to everyone who has been a part of this movement. One act at a time has led to incredible impact!

Picking up the pieces

Friday, 18 February, 2011

Have you ever been affected by a major natural disaster?

Flooding, fires, hurricanes … these can turn your life upside down. For Amway distributors, it means putting the pieces of your life and business back together and relying on others to help you through.

The good thing is that our relationships are assets that weather can’t destroy.

Some business owners in Australia are experiencing this as their community recovers from massive flooding that we reported on two weeks ago.

Like many other volunteers and supporters, Amway distributors Derek and Chris Pingel have been working hard to rebuild their community.

Derek said, “This is indeed a very emotional and difficult time for so many families throughout our region. The true extent of the devastation is incredible. The overwhelming generosity of hundreds of volunteers has been nothing short of inspirational. We and the people of the Lockyer Valley are sincerely grateful for the generosity of companies like Amway. I have never witnessed such a united effort from people throughout our district and for that matter, our Nation. It really is a wonderful example of the true Australian Spirit!!!”

Thank you to Amway Australia, and the employees and distributors who have donated products, time and money.

Amway has donated $A50,000 for the Queensland floods through One by One.

Eight thousand and 270 smiles

Wednesday, 16 February, 2011

This post is about some pretty amazing numbers achieved in January for the Amway China Leadership Seminar in Sydney. Amway China sales representatives visited Australia, including Sydney and the vineyards in nearby Hunter Valley. The event culminated in what’s predicted to be the biggest – and most profitable – tourism event in New South Wales this year.

But the dollars aren’t the most important numbers. When all was said and done, the event added up to so much more. Take a look:

  • $144,000. The amount of money raised for One by One partner charity in Australia, Freedom Wheels.
  • $40 million. The amount poured into Sydney’s economy through the trip.
  • $3 million. Net direct impact on the Hunter Valley community, primarily supporting locally-owned businesses, entertainers, decorators, translators, restaurateurs, and chocolate, cheese, wine and food suppliers.
  • 9.6 million. Australians who read, saw or heard about the event, prompting renewed interest in Amway for some.
  • 8,000. The number of Amway representatives from China who worked hard to earn and enjoy this business incentive trip.
  • 270. The number of smiles on the faces of the disabled Australian children who will have bikes specially designed and built for them to experience riding for the first time.

All in all, that’s a lot of smiles. And that’s the lasting legacy for the visit.

For every action, a big reaction

Tuesday, 15 February, 2011

Three years ago, we decided to give the Amway One by One Campaign for Children a boost by scaling up or creating new programs in 27 countries.

Then we waited and watched.

This week, we’ve been compiling stories, statistics and photos for internal reporting. And we can’t help but be surprised by the creativity and profound impact these programs have had.

Once again, when we act, people react, and show their heart.

Here are a few examples … and there are many more than space would allow:

  • 7 new gardens at Boys & Girls in the US
  • 15 schools supplied with libraries, computers and Amway volunteer teachers in China
  • 8 camps that teach life skills to teenage orphans as they transition to independence in the Ukraine
  • 57 orphanages “adopted” by Amway and its distributors across India
  • 250 stories made available digitally to visually impaired children in Thailand
  • 4 new enrichment programs for abused and neglected children in Singapore
  • 2 hot meals each day for a school full of children who may otherwise not be eating in South Africa
  • 100,000 orange ribbons collected along with donations that raise awareness of child abuse in Japan
  • 2,500 procedures each month at a children’s hospital for low income families in Brazil

We can’t wait to tell these stories on the blog. Stay tuned!

Teaching what it means to volunteer

Friday, 11 February, 2011

In our efforts to increase volunteering by Amway distributors and employees around the world, we recently ran into a challenge.

Not everybody knows what it means to volunteer. Particularly in post-communist Russia.

We take volunteering for granted in the United States. According to the US Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 27% of Americans volunteer more than 8 billion hours of service. We know how to volunteer – our only challenge is finding the time, and the right cause.

Last year, Amway Russia initiated a volunteer project among employees and distributors to help out at local orphanages sponsored by Amway. However, the tradition of volunteering is just being rediscovered in Russian culture, and people didn’t know what they were supposed to do.

So Amway did the same thing we do to make distributors successful salespeople. We trained them.

Amway Russia held training in 11 Russian cities, followed by volunteer projects in local orphanages. At the training, a professional from a nonprofit organizations explained the concept of volunteering, how to get involved, and how to best work with orphaned children.

Following the training, a series of projects were scheduled. Volunteers demonstrated their skills in bead weaving, cooking and various crafts, along with the children. All of the projects were followed by joint tea parties.

In some cities, Amway distributors formed volunteering teams to continue the tradition, involving other friends and partners in the projects.

So a new seed is planted, spread from person to person, one by one.

Thanks to Irina Platonova for sharing this story.

Science and math give wings

Thursday, 10 February, 2011

Bill Gates has called the airplane the original World Wide Web, because it brought people, languages, ideas and values together. Today – 108 years after the airplane’s invention – it is inspiring young girls and other underrepresented populations to study science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

Why is that so important?

STEM literacy has been identified as critical for making intelligent decisions about the future of our planet, including how we procure and use energy; communicate; and tackle worldwide problems like hunger and disease. Studies have shown that for the foreseeable future, the fastest growing jobs will be STEM-related, including nurses and engineers.

Enter the STEPS program.

STEPS stands for “Science, Technology & Engineering Preview Summer.” It’s a day camp offered in nearly a dozen sites across the U.S. In West Michigan, the Aviation Department at Amway participates in a four-day STEPS experience for middle school teenagers. They tour our corporate hangar; fly in a plane; learn about airplane engineering and construction; and in general, receive insight and encouragement from our industry-recognized aviation team.

Middle school is a critical time for inspiring students to pursue STEM courses, as it’s the time when far too many of them turn away from math and science. STEPS has set out to change that.

 Using wings to help with STEPS.  Now that’s original!

 

Thanks to Cindy Droog for sharing this story.

Amway helps launch the next Miss America

Wednesday, 9 February, 2011

With the crown comes glory, and for Miss America, the chance to pursue higher education … with help from Amway.
 
Artistry exclusively by Amway, as the official skin care and cosmetics sponsor of the Miss America Organization, introduced the Artistry Scholarship at this year’s pageant. This $50,000 scholarship was awarded to the 2011 Miss America winner, Teresa Scanlan from Nebraska. She plans to use the funds towards her education at Patrick Henry College, where she will major in government and then continue on to law school.

Started in 1921, the Miss America Pageant consists of 52 national finalists who compete in multiple events for a chance to be crowned Miss America and spend the next year traveling the country to support different charitable activities and organizations. In 1945, the nonprofit organization offered its first scholarship and has grown to more than $45 million in cash and scholarships awarded each year. The Miss America Organization is now one of the country’s leading achievement programs and the largest provider of scholarships to young women.

By providing an additional $318,000 in scholarships to the Miss America Organization, Artistry was able to help young women not only see their inner beauty, but their inner potential, too.

It’s not just a beauty pageant. Teresa and the rest of the contestants have earned a chance to reach goals that might never have seemed imaginable.

 

Miss America 2011, Theresa Scanlan

 

 

Miss America Scholarship Winners

 

Miss America Scholarship Winners

 

Thanks to Samantha Bourque for contributing to this story.

Many disasters, many responses

Friday, 4 February, 2011

Last year about this time, we were responding to a major earthquake in Haiti. This year, we have not seen a tragedy at that global scale, but there have been many localized events.

In each case, Amway and its employees and distributors are helping people and communities recover. Here are a few.

 

Brazil

Brazil is recovering from flooding and mud slides that have killed at least 745 people, left more than 200 missing and 21,500 homeless. One of the affected areas is Rio de Janeiro, where we have an Amway Experience Center. Thankfully, there are no reports of employees or distributors affected. Amway is providing donations of products to families in need, and discussing long-term rebuilding efforts with Habitat for Humanity.

 

 

New Zealand

New Zealand experienced a massive 7.1 earthquake in Christchurch. Amway employees organized a fundraising event with local distributors, matching money that was raised. They also offered free delivery to distributors in the affected area and extended discounts for product purchases.

 

Australia

Recent flooding in Australia has covered an area greater than the size of France and Germany combined, affecting more than 3 million people. Amway made a donation through the Premier’s appeal. Local Amway leaders are also discussing long-term rebuilding of playgrounds or Freedom Wheels bikes that were affected. Amway distributors and staff are also making donations, and distributors living in the affected area will receive special product offers and free delivery. Australia now braces itself against Cyclone Yasi, a massive storm that will cross the same area.

 

Colombia

Colombia is currently experiencing the worst winter in its history. There are estimates that over one million people have been displaced from their homes in Colombia due to massive floods. Amway is making a donation through relief efforts of Colombia Humanitaria, coordinated by Maria Clemencia Rodriguez, the Colombian President’s wife. Amway is also looking at long-term rebuilding efforts through Habitat for Humanity.

Our hearts go out to the victims of these catastrophes, and we send thanks to local Amway leaders, employees and distributors for their efforts to help.