Archive for 2011

Bringing more cheer

Wednesday, 7 December, 2011

Every year as the Christmas holiday approaches, there are certain things you can count on in the U.S. That Salvation Army volunteers will be ringing bells and collecting change at local retailers. That your mailbox – the real one, not the electronic one – will contain more cards and photos than at any other time of year.

And in Grand Rapids, Michigan, some elementary school students can count on Amway to bring Santa’s Secret Workshop to life.

For approximately 20 years, we have temporarily turned school gyms and libraries into places where those in kindergarten through fifth grade could play elf – choosing and purchasing affordable presents for their families. Gifts only cost between 5 cents and $1 and more than 150 Amway employees help children find gifts; wrap; address; and organize them. Each child also receives a “Santa buck” to purchase something special for a classmate.

This year, more than 800 children will experience Santa’s Secret Workshop. That’s more than double the number in 2010.

And that’s what really counts.

[Pictured: Employees from the Amway Brand Management Team run Santa's Secret Workshop at Burton Elementary School on Wednesday, December 7, 2011.]

Visiting our Founders Council members

Monday, 5 December, 2011

Wheels up!

This week, a team of us is traveling to Taiwan to visit the first of six countries over the next three years to discover what our top distributors – called the Founders Council – are doing to support programs for children through the Amway One by One campaign.

We will be partnering with several Founders Council members to support projects that they found and brought to our attention. These are great causes, from malaria nets to Leukemia treatment to education to hospital therapy to wheelchair competition to feeding and housing programs. Some of the organizations the Founders Council members actually started themselves.

Our pilot project for this initiative was with Tim Foley from the United States. This week we visit Holly Chen in Taiwan.

Stay tuned for more stories on this project.

The happiest day of your life

Wednesday, 30 November, 2011

Ask any new parent – the birth of their child is the happiest day of their life.

Yet for a few whose newborn suffer a congenital anomaly, it is also the start of a heart wrenching journey of major surgery, trauma, hope and recovery.

Last week, Amway Australia donated $10,000 AUS to the highly acclaimed Grace Centre for Newborn Care at Westmead Children’s Hospital to support follow-up for infants to identify any problems early and allow for early intervention.

This is part of a broader campaign in celebration of Amway Australia’s 40th anniversary, with causes selected by Amway Independent Business Owners and employees.

“My heart goes out to any parent whose child has to have major surgery. As a dad, I know I would want the very best medical care for my child – both while at

Hospital and in follow up support and assistance,” said Michial Coldwell, General Manager of Amway Australia.

The donation will help expand the clinic to provide specialized multidisciplinary follow-up for all infants who have undergone major surgery, ensuring that children from all walks of life are well cared for.

To donate or for more information about the Grace Centre visit

Trends in CSR

Monday, 28 November, 2011

I recently came across this editorial by S.J. Park, President of Amway Korea, which was published in The Korea Times. It is worth posting in its entirety, as it discusses trends in CSR using great examples of worldwide companies, including our own. -JH


Social responsibility: Making a difference

By Park Se-joon

Earlier this month, Amway Korea hosted a friendly soccer match where children from multicultural families were invited to participate. The Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program with 10 years’ history first began with the 2002 World Cup soccer games, with an aim to give children from low-income families hopes and dreams.

As an amateur photographer, I had the pleasure of taking a bunch of pictures of the children’s innocent smile and their excited faces. When I was browsing through the photos back at home, I found myself staring at one of them. It was the picture of Kang Su-il, a professional soccer player who himself has a multicultural family background, playing cheerfully with the children. Kang taught them to play soccer, sharing his stories and talking of hopes and dreams. He told the children to laugh hard, have fun, and be confident in pursuing life goals and future dreams.

Corporate social responsibility means companies fulfilling their responsibility as corporate citizens. It is to help our neighbours in need through continuous and sincere programs. To this end, CSR activities must look at least ten years ahead and put in continuous and consistent efforts. Amway Korea’s Nutrilite Soccer Class, for example, was launched in 2002 with the World Cup games, but it was not until this year ― 10 years later ― that it really started to shine.

Recently, CSR activities are becoming more visible among businesses, especially large corporations, as part of their effort to ensure sustainable growth. It is because of the emphasis put on CSR as a way to gain consumer trust and promote corporate reputation and awareness. It is doubted, however, whether those activities are making real changes in creating a more compassionate society, since most of them focus on year-end donations, and lacking consistency, can hardly benefit those in need in a stable way.

The current situation is also reflected in the survey result of the Sustainable Social Responsibility Forum released on the 19th. The survey asked male and female adults, corporate executives, and CSR specialists both home and abroad to rate CSR activities of businesses, and the score was 2.75 out of 5, which was lower than average. Respondents cited lack of consistency ― 39.6 percent ― and volunteerism ― 24.2 percent ― as factors behind weak CSR activities. The interpretation can be that the CSR activities, albeit growing, are mostly seen as short-term events that still lack ‘sincerity’ to fulfil social responsibility.

To ensure continuity and consistency, CSR programs must go beyond mere donations, and deliberations on win-win strategies for business and society are necessary. In other words, companies need to develop flagship CSR activities that allow them to utilize internal resources, drawing upon their unique characteristics.

This is evidenced by examples of domestic and foreign companies including Kellogg, a United States-based cereal manufacturer. Up until the Great Depression in 1929, the No. 1 player in the U.S. cereal market was Post. The situation started turning around immediately after the crisis as Kellogg engaged in CSR activities including free giveaway of cereals to people who had lost their jobs during the Depression and to the destitute, while Post downsized their business.

Furthermore, Kellogg rearranged working hours at their factory in Battle Creek, Michigan, from three shifts of every eight hours to four shifts of six hours, creating more jobs for those seeking employment. It was a sensational success. Kellogg eventually caught up with Post and became No. 1 on the American breakfast table. Kellogg’s position as the market leader remains solid.

The IT Supporters Coming to You Campaign which has been conducted for four years since 2007 by KT, a domestic telecom company, is another good example. Their staff technicians visit rural communities, elderly people, low-income families and multicultural families with limited access to IT services, and teach them to use computers and other IT gadgets. This program is strategically relevant in all aspects including KT’s corporate identity, efficiency of utilizing internal resources as well as social needs, and it is making substantial contribution to enhancing their reputation.

This trend is growing gradually throughout the world. To respond to the changes in CSR culture, Amway Korea, commemorating its 20th anniversary, has launched the Health Guardian Campaign designed to help address the increasingly serious issues of child obesity and nutritional imbalance, in partnership with schools, kindergartens, and welfare organizations. Furthermore, Amway Korea, in collaboration with the Korean Nutrition Society, is in the process of developing Nutrition Quotient to improve social infrastructure for children’s nutritional health.

According to a report entitled ‘The Nature of Corporate Social Responsibility’ published by Samsung Economic Research Institute, there has been a paradigm shift where CSR activities are no longer an option but an indispensible part of corporate management. More and more companies view CSR as a core, value-adding activity, select key programs from a strategic point of view, and implement them consistently.

The report suggested six conditions for successful CSR programs, namely SPIRIT ― Social Investment, Positioning, Integration, Review, Involvement and Transparency. It claims that in order to move consumers and gain their trust, CSR programs need to have a ‘soul’. In other words, it is the consistency and sincerity that is key to successful CSR activities that change lives. I hope these good intentions of companies around the world become a powerful source of change in Korean society in the near future.

Stacking the apple

Thursday, 24 November, 2011

Our colleagues in California sent us this photo.

As part of the Season of Giving held each year at our Nutrilite offices in Buena Park, employees hold a food drive following their United Way campaign.

In order to make the volume of the food collection more obvious, employee Erika Nungary put together this structure after seeing displays of canned foods at a local mall.

The apple is a replica of one of the icons at the Nutrilite Center for Optimal Health that represents education.

The apple design was a bit of a risk. Half of an apple doesn’t create quite the same effect.

However, once employees saw the stack of cans start to take shape, the donations came pouring in – in the form of tomato sauce, chili, soup, corn, peas and ravioli. At the end of the campaign, they were weighed in at 581 kilograms, or 1,278 pounds.

The food will be donated to Giving Children Hope, a local organization that helps underserved kids in California, as well as supporting kids in need around the globe.

Thanks to Lisa Rehnborg for sharing this story – and thanks to the generous Amway employees at our Nutrilite facilities in Buena Park, California.

Every end is a new beginning

Wednesday, 23 November, 2011

It’s important to stop and celebrate our successes as we move from one program to the next.

Last month, the Amway Happy Angels – Children’s Mental Health Nurturing Project came to a successful close with a celebration in Hong Kong.

Through this important collaboration with the Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs Association of Hong Kong, Amway provided customized learning opportunities for the participants. The one-year program engaged 100 Amway volunteers who contributed 1,200 voluntary hours for the benefit of more than 1,500 people.

On October 8, volunteers met with children and their families, and Anna Mak, Deputy Director of Social Welfare Services for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, officiated a special ceremony.

The project aimed to share a positive and optimistic attitude towards life, and create a healthy, happy growing environment in which children can grow. What better way to close out the program than to celebrate together.


Thanks to Cynthia Chin and Yvonne So for sharing this story.

Universal Children’s Day

Monday, 21 November, 2011


Yesterday was Universal Children’s Day, a designation given by the United Nations back in 1954, encouraging countries to designate November 20 as a “day of activity devoted to promoting the ideals and objectives of the Charter and the welfare of the children of the world.”

When you begin looking at the numbers of children in need, it seems that one day is not nearly enough. According to UNICEF, 6 out of 10 children do not live to see their fifth birthday. That’s 8 million children – a significant part of our future that won’t even get a chance to start.


Children’s Day should be every day, wherever you are, in big and small ways. And there are lots of ways to plug in.

Whether it is lifesaving nutrition in Mexico, education for migrant families in China, prevention of abuse in Japan,or access to safe play spaces in the US, it won’t take much to turn the numbers, if we all lend a hand.

Not just one day, but every day, one by one.

Amway recognized at corporate citizenship award ceremony

Friday, 18 November, 2011

Last night, we celebrated the Corporate Citizenship Awards at the Newseum in Washington, DC.

We were honored to be named a finalist for our Nutrilite Little Bits program in the category of Best International Ambassador.

It was great to be recognized for the work already done, because it energized us for the work ahead to really bring this program to scale!

Help a child and win a trip to see us

Thursday, 17 November, 2011

It is a special experience to visit Amway headquarters and our Nutrilite Center for Optimal Health.

A couple lucky (and generous) winners in the US will get a chance for an all expenses paid visit to these locations, as well as the US Dream Academy gala in Washington DC.

Amway North America just launched a campaign to raise funds for more than 1,000 at-risk elementary and middle school students. The US Dream Academy serves these students with afterschool and mentoring programs designed to improve academic skills, build character and broaden their sense of possibility.

With each gift of $20, Amway IBOs in the US will be automatically entered for a chance to win an exciting all-expense paid trip for one IBO and one guest.

More details can be found on the Achieve Magazine website.

The symbol of the white cane

Thursday, 17 November, 2011

The ability to travel safely and independently is a critical issue to everyone in our society. We all want to get to our destinations in the safest and quickest way possible.

This is no different for people who are blind or partially sighted.

To honor the many achievements of blind people, the Amway Opportunity Foundation celebrated International White Cane Safety Day in India on October 15, along with its partners.

Near our headquarters in Delhi, Amway volunteers celebrated at the Gandhi Peace Foundation with a show put on by visually challenged students and local officials.

AOF also presented 150 white canes and motivational books in Braille, along with chief guest, Mr. M. Mishra, Member of Parliament.

The white cane symbolizes blindness, but also mobility. And on this special day, we also use it as a symbol to recognize the hard work and generosity of our partners.

Thanks to Raj Narain for sharing this story.