Archive for March, 2011

A time to celebrate

Wednesday, 30 March, 2011

Last week, we paused to celebrate employee volunteers at Amway headquarters in West Michigan. And to sign them up for more activities!

Headquarters employees put in more than 18,000 volunteer hours in 2010, with 50% of our workforce involved – that’s more than most Fortune 500 companies.

We supported 123 nonprofit organizations in West Michigan. Everything from building playgrounds to mentoring students to planting gardens.

Here’s a translation of the numbers on our tshirts:

  • 196,000 = children impacted in West Michigan in 2010
  • 50% = employee involvement
  • 18,000 = volunteer hours in West Michigan
  • 8,000,000 = children impacted worldwide since 2003
  • 2,300,000 = volunteer hours worldwide since 2003
  • $141,000,000 = contributions raised since 2003

Thanks to everyone who has given their time, and their hearts, to make this program GREAT!

Thanks to Sri Soekarmoen for taking photos.

Some time out of the office

Monday, 28 March, 2011

We recently heard about a volunteer day at our Amway offices in New Zealand. When we asked for details, we got some great stories:

“We spent the day encouraging shoppers to support CanTeen, an organization that helps teenagers with cancer. While there, we met a girl called Jessie who was wearing a lot of beads – each bead represents a treatment she had been through such as chemotherapy, radiation, spinal taps etc. The beads took on a whole new meaning for us as Jessie told us what each one represented and the amount she wore was overwhelming. She also had another big jar of beads at home. I felt very proud to be an Amway employee and help such a worthwhile cause.”   — Helen Kowhai, Knowledge Management Coordinator

“We put on Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals uniforms and carried collection buckets to a shopping mall to collect donations. There was a lady with a little girl who saw us standing there. I waited for her to come because I could see her debating in her mind whether to approach me. I smiled at her and she came towards me and took her old purse out. It didn’t look like it had much money in it. She started to apologize and said, ‘That’s all I have – only 10 cents on me. I am really sorry.’ She did seem like someone who was having a hard time in life, yet she was willing to give the last 10 cents in her purse. I will never forget their big smiles on their faces.”   — Eman Aoun, Accounts Payable

“We stood at a major crossing for four hours and asked people to purchase a bandanna, hand sanitizer or wrist bands for CanTeen. We asked every single person that walked past, even those on bicycles and skateboards. This was the strategy to our success, as the old saying goes—if you don’t ask, you don’t get. Our money box was getting so heavy towards the end of the day that we were getting a sore wrist. It was a great day helping a great cause. Helping people live better lives – the Amway way.”   — Leah Walker, Product Marketer

Thanks to Simon Bennett for gathering these stories.


Earning trust

Friday, 25 March, 2011

For people to believe a piece of information about a specific company, 59% of them need to hear it 3-5 times before they truly believe it, proving that trust is still something to be earned.

According to the annual 2011 Edelman Trust Barometer, trust has shifted from something companies would like to have, to something companies must have. In 2010, trust became more than a quality, but an essential line of business.

Globally, trust in business, government, non-governmental organizations, and media have all increased from 2010. However, when segmented by country, China and Brazil recorded large increases in trust while the United States declined in all four categories.

The study concluded that in order to earn trust and reputation, “businesses must align profit and purpose for social benefit.” A majority (69%) believe that providing high quality products and services is the most important factor of corporate reputation, but 51% of respondents agree that corporate citizenship is equally imperative.

Here at Amway, we agree as we maintain our Amway One by One Campaign and continue to log millions of volunteer hours (2.3 million to be exact). Our employees and distributors around the world are constantly using their resources to benefit their communities.

Even if it takes three, four, or five times – trust is something we hope to continue to earn.

Thanks to Samantha Bourque for contributing this post.

Being there for Japan

Wednesday, 23 March, 2011

Around the world, people are reaching out to help Japan.

Amway announced its giving plans just days after the devastating March 11 earthquake and tsunami. Our affiliates are organizing donation drives. Many of our employees and distributors have made financial gifts to the Red Cross and Amway will continue to match donations through March 31 up to $350,000.

Thanks to the generosity of our employees, distributors and affiliates, the Amway commitment has nearly doubled from the original $1.2 million commitment to about $2.5 million in total giving.

John Parker, President of Amway Japan, said, “I’ve been overwhelmed – but not surprised — by the outpouring of love and support from Amway leaders, employees and distributors from all over the world. The entire Amway Japan team appreciates the support.” John will travel to Sendai later this week to meet with distributors in that hard-hit region.

Amway President Doug DeVos was in Tokyo Wednesday to meet with our employees and speak with our distributors by phone and web.

Financial donations are still needed to address critical needs in Japan. But at times like these, just being there and offering a handshake, a hug or a kind word may be the most powerful support we can offer.

Making room for learning

Monday, 21 March, 2011

No room for desks? How about a portable one.

Amway leaders in South Africa took note that children in the communities near their centres were short on desks.

So they partnered with The Lapdesk Company to make custom lapdesks for students and delivered the first ones in KwaMashu, KwaZulu Natal earlier this month. Plans are to roll the program out across Southern Africa, with Amway distributors invited to sponsor a lapdesk

The Amway Lapdesk offers more than just a space to write. Printed on the lapdesks are the alphabet, time tables, numbers and shapes, as well as a list of children’s rights and a Childline telephone number.


Thanks to Suna Snyman for sharing this story.

Hope floats

Friday, 18 March, 2011

After a heavy week focusing on tragedies in Japan, we end the week with something light.

Like a balloon … or many of them.

The new Miss America 2011, Teresa Scanlan, visited Amway corporate headquarters this week. She also found time to stop by our local Boys & Girls Club.

Teresa’s story is all about hope and inspiration. And that was her message to Club members.

She said, “Everybody is different, and when you’re growing up, you have to find those things that you are good at and that are unique and special to you.”

She asked each Club member to write a goal, and then tie it to a balloon.

Outside the Club where we planted a garden last summer, Club members released their balloons, and watched them soar.

Like hope for tomorrow. And a lighter and brighter future.

Watching Japan day by day

Wednesday, 16 March, 2011

We’ve been watching our emails closely in the early morning and the late night, monitoring each and every update from our colleagues in Japan.

They report that the situation is fluid and changes hour by hour, with 55 earthquakes reported yesterday, several that were not even in the original epicenter.

The Amway Japan Tokyo facilities have been closed except for essential operations, but will reopen in just a few hours on Thursday morning.

The good news is that Amway Affiliates are mobilizing around the world to help our friends in Japan, following the initial commitment of 100 million yen from Amway headquarters.

In the United States, Amway employees and distributors can donate to the American Red Cross on our website. In many other countries, similar collection sites are set up online and at local centers. Some affiliates are even making additional donations.

There is little we can do but watch, pray, and give. I hope you will join us.

Help for Japan

Monday, 14 March, 2011

The world’s eyes are on Japan as the search for victims and assessment of the damage of the March 11 Tohoku Pacific earthquake and tsunami continues.  Our thoughts are with the people of Japan, especially those still waiting to learn the fate of loved ones.

As Japan works diligently on recovery efforts and begins the process of rebuilding, Amway will be there to help.  Amway and Amway Japan will provide ¥$100 million (about US$1.2 million) to create a relief fund to support agencies that are providing critical aid  for victims.  Amway is also supplying product to relief organizations to assist with immediate needs. 

The corporation, its distributors and employees will provide the support in partnership with local nonprofit organizations and relief agencies in the region, especially those which focus on children, in alignment with the Amway One by One Campaign for Children.

In addition, Amway will match employee and distributor donations to the Red Cross at through Monday, March 21, up to $250,000. The donation link will be up soon. 

We’ve been in Japan since 1979. And we’ll be there to help Japan recover and rebuild following this unprecedented disaster.

Building homes in Guatemala

Thursday, 10 March, 2011

It started with six people, Amway distributors who travelled to Guatemala to build homes alongside future homeowners.

More people joined, including Tim Foley, an Amway Founders Crown Ambassador and eFinity leader, who began inviting people himself, and helping subsidize their trip.

Seven years later, 85 people were making the annual trek to the Zacapa region to mix concrete, fill in floors, heft cinder blocks and cut rebar. From a teenager who inspired his father to a 76-year old who celebrated his birthday with his daughter on the site, it had become a ripple that began to grow.

Several of us from Amway corporate offices in the US, Mexico, Guatemala and El Salvador attended to experience the full range of physical labor and deep joy at empowering families to put their sweat equity into a home of their own.

We wanted to experience this movement firsthand. And we have been inspired by the growing impact of the work of these distributors. Inspired enough to turn this into a formal partnership between Amway and Habitat for Humanity in 10 countries across Latin America.

Read the full story of our experience and see a picture gallery at Achieve

Amway partners with Habitat in Latin America

Tuesday, 8 March, 2011

The only thing that could get volunteer builders in Guatemala to give up their well-worn shovels was a ceremony to break ground on 40 new houses.

So 85 Amway employees and distributors from North America, Central America and South America took a break from their work in Huite to ride a yellow school bus across crowded city streets and open farm lands to visit the site of Usumatlan, a new Habitat for Humanity community that will be named after Amway.

This would be the kickoff of a new partnership between Amway Latin America and Habitat for Humanity that will stretch across 10 countries. Amway distributors will join first-time homeowners to put their sweat and love into building homes for families over the next five years.

Amway purchased the land in Guatemala, doubling the gift of Amway distributor group eFinity and leader Tim Foley, whose funds will be used toward the construction and volunteer support. The next country programs will be in Colombia and Brazil, where recent flooding has wiped out the homes of many people in slum areas, who will benefit from a lasting home that they will own.

This is a new partnership for Amway, but it isn’t new from some distributors. Stay tuned this week to hear about how Amway leaders were inspired to get involved in home building through the Amway One by One Camapign.

Surveying the land

The groundbreaking

Tim Foley, Amway distributor and founder of eFinity

Huite build site, which Teculután will resemble next year