Archive for October, 2011

Expecting more

Monday, 31 October, 2011

Most of us have a stack of reading materials on our desk that we plan to get to someday. It usually consists of industry reports, news articles, academic studies or the latest self help book.

In skimming through my stack, I started leafing through the recent Corporate Responsibility Opportunity Study by Cone/Echo. The first chart shows what consumers think business SHOULD be doing:

  • 19% believe a company should just make money or play a limited role in society.
  • 50% said business should support larger issues with donations and time, or with donations, time and advocacy.
  • 31% claim that business should change the way they operate to align with greater social and environmental needs.

It seems – not surprisingly – that people expect more from business. So how is Amway meeting those expectations?

  • Amway does have a unique operating model that inspires business ownership, builds relationships and offers incredible products.
  • Amway does support larger issues with investments of donations, time and advocacy at the global and local level.
  • And for those who advocate a role focused on profits, Amway has proven strong performance even in difficult economic times.

Yes, there is much more to do, and we are excited to be pushing the expertise and energy of Amway to higher levels with initiatives  like Nutrilite Little Bits in Mexico, Positive Sprouts in the United States and the Amway Charity Foundation in China.

For those who think the business community needs to do more, Amway is up to the challenge.

The medicine of laughter

Friday, 28 October, 2011

Sometimes children need medicine, and sometimes laughter is the best medicine.

Our colleagues in India have been focused on providing for the basic needs of children in orphanages throughout the country through the Project Sunrise initiative.

Recently, they decided it was also important to give those same children a chance to celebrate, and a chance to laugh.

The Amway Opportunity Foundation partnered with Amway distributors and employees to host a theatrical performance of Ek Tha Gadha Urf Aladad Khan, a famous comic play.

Held in Ravindra Manch Jaipur, the show raised additional funds for the Children of Apna Ghar, one of the Project Sunrise partners.

Children, donors and volunteers watched together and laughed together. And in the end, the spirits of all were lifted.

Thanks to Raj Narain for sharing this story.

The ultimate football experience

Wednesday, 26 October, 2011

How do NFL fans get closer to the game and the heroes of the football field?

How about getting on the field and playing alongside the superstars.

It may sound like a dream, but a few individuals will get a chance to do just that – while helping children and families achieve their dreams as well.

As an extension of the Amway partnership with NFL great Kurt Warner, Amway and the Nutrilite brand are sponsoring the “Ultimate Football Experience.”

Held at the training complex of the Arizona Cardinals, the Ultimate Football Experience is a fantasy day giving gridiron fans from the corporate world the opportunity to play football with the pros.

Corporate teams of eight players are led into battle by NFL players of the past and present for a competitive four-on-four flag football tournament. In the past, this has included Aaron Rodgers, Philip Rivers, Warren Moon, Joe Flacco, Phil Simms, Michael Strahan, Matt Ryan and others.

The Ultimate Football Experience will raise money for Warner’s First Things First Foundation, which is a public charity “dedicated to promoting Christian values and blessing the lives of those less fortunate” with projects such as trips to Disney World for ill children, building recreation centers in children’s hospitals, and rewarding single parents as they achieve the dream of home ownership.

Amway will soon launch a program to fill its spots, while offering some to Amway Independent Business Owners in the US.

A Stitch in Time

Monday, 24 October, 2011

The old saying goes, “a stitch in time saves nine,” which means a little effort now saves you from a lot of effort later.

Some Amway Independent Business Owners (IBOs) in the United States were inspired to bring this concept to life in their efforts to help Easter Seals, an Amway One by One partner that helps children and adults with disabilities.

The idea was to collect coins, just a little bit at a time, but ultimately adding up to make a big difference in the long run.

They design “Stitch in Time” buckets for people to keep around their house and deposit coins that may be lying around, unused.

“The change that is often overlooked can do a world of good for the children and families served by Easter Seals,” says Claudia Nardone, a leadership-level IBO who developed the Stitch in Time campaign.

Money has come in, a little at a time, sometimes in donations less than $10. But it has quickly added up.

Since the program was launched earlier this year and combined with other existing efforts, Amway IBOs have raised more than $100,000 for Easter Seals, with 100% of funds raised going directly to programming.

That’s a lot of stitches … and a lot of coins.

Thanks to Adriane Land for sharing this story, and for Claudia Nardone in her tireless efforts for Easter Seals.

Play Therapy

Friday, 21 October, 2011

We recently discussed how play can help the physical and intellectual development of children.

In Malaysia, play is also being used to support emotional health through a concept called Play Therapy.

Amway Malaysia recently hosted 41 children from four different children’s shelters. They took part in part in play therapy sessions, with play therapist Chris Ng.

Click here to read the full story from the Sun Daily.

Celebrating smiles

Wednesday, 19 October, 2011

Up to 100 children in Vietnam will have brighter smiles following a mission by Operation Smile taking place in Hanoi this week, in partnership with Amway Vietnam.

On the first day of medical screening, 70 children were cleared for surgery. Most are under three years old, coming from poor families in the Northern provinces.

In addition to the Amway sponsorship, employees gave more than $1,000 to buy coats and toys for the children, and participated as volunteers.

Yesterday, 20 patients had successful surgeries, helping to bring them beautiful smiles as well as the ability to speak, eat and drink properly. The others will be treated by end of this week.

You can see more photos and follow the mission on the Amway Vietnam Facebook page.

Thanks to Dang Ngoc Thu Ha for sharing this story.

100,000 Strong

Tuesday, 18 October, 2011

While the Amway One by One blog is focused on childen’s programs, we thought it noteworthy to mention a new sponsorship that will send West Michigan college students to study in China through the US State Department’s 100,000 Strong initiative.

Click here to read more on the Amway Insider blog.

Help for our flooded friends in Thailand

Monday, 17 October, 2011

Flood waters are now covering two thirds of Thailand. Although seasonal, this year’s floods are the worst in more than 50 years, claiming 280 lives so far. The Prime Minister said that many provinces may be submerged for the next two months.

The brunt of the impact seems to be in Ayutthaya, just north of Bangkok. The high risk period for Bangkok, home of Amway Thailand headquarters, will be over the next week.

According to news reports, many residents are stocking up on essentials and clearing supermarket shelves. However, the government is not declaring a state of emergency yet and major arteries in Bangkok are still open.

Amway Thailand Country Manager Kittawat Ritteerawee reports that most Amway shops are located on high ground and will open back up in a few days, except for the shop in Ayuthatya where the flooding is the worst.

Last week, the Amway Thailand team went to Ayuthaya and donated 1,000 bags of Amway rice to the mayor. They also plan to donate 1 million baht and help to raise funds for additional support.

Our thoughts and best wishes are with our friends as we wait for the land to dry once again.

An environmental treasure hunt

Friday, 14 October, 2011

Some families in Japan recently spent their holiday weekend on the beach, but it wasn’t spent in leisure.

Since 2002, Amway has hosted nearly 150 beach clean-up days with employees and distributors from around Japan. On October 10, volunteers spent the day at Yaizu in the Shizuoka prefecture cleaning up the beach.

Children went on a “treasure hunt,” looking for small pieces of plastic and trash left on the beach. These tiny pieces might look unimportant, but they take many years to break down, contributing to pools of sludge and often causing harm to wildlife in and around the ocean that eat the pieces.

And the little pieces add up. Volunteers collected 34 kilograms (74 pounds) by the end of the day.

What a great impact on our environment … and a wonderful lesson for our children.

See more photos on the Amway Japan Facebook page.

The critical function of play

Wednesday, 12 October, 2011

“Someday, rather than measuring memorization as an indicator of progress, we will measure our children’s ability to manipulate (deconstruct and hack), morph (think flexibly and be tolerant of change), and move (think “with their hands” and play productively). Standardized aptitude tests will be replaced by our abilities to see (observe and imagine), sense (have empathy and intrinsic motivation), and stretch (think abstractly and systemically). We will advance our abilities to collaborate and create.”

This elaborate quote from Laura Seargeant Richardson in a recent issue of the Atlantic makes the simple point: PLAY IS IMPORTANT.

Providing access to safe, fun playspaces is one of the four key focus areas of the Amway One by One campaign.

Amway has enabled the building of more than two dozen play spaces in the US, RussiaUkraine, Germany and Korea over the years.

And this summer, Amway leaders partnered with local civic leaders in Poland to offer another new playground built by volunteers.

You can watch the 2:31 minute video below or click here to watch on YouTube.