Archive for 2012

Merry Christmas around the world!

Friday, 21 December, 2012

Here are a few ways that Amway people are making during the holidays:

We kicked off the holiday season at Amway world headquarters in Ada, Michigan, with a talent show of Christmas songs, dances and performances. Amway co-founder Rich DeVos read the Christmas story, as he has for many years.

Amway colleagues in Tokyo, Japan celebrate Christmas with an orange ribbon tree lighting ceremony with Santa. Amway Japan collects orange ribbons to raise awareness of child abuse, and makes donations for every orange ribbon received to focus on prevention and treatment of child abuse.

 

More than 150 Amway employee volunteers organized Santa’s Secret Workshop events for 500 students at Burton Elementary school in Grand Rapids, Michigan. There, students could find affordable gifts for their parents, and volunteers helped them shop and wrap them up for Christmas.

 

Amway partnered with Ulsan Green Umbrella Children’s Foundation and Amway Business Owner volunteers to organize a Christmas event for children from low-income families in South Korea.

In New York City, Amway announced a donation of $300,000 in gifts for children through the Today Show Toy Drive on national television.

 

In China, Amway will sponsor the fourth New Year charity concert at the Xinjiang People’s Hall with proceeds from the ticket sales supporting schools for deaf children.

Amway Italy organized the donation of 3,500 jars of Amway pasta sauce to Opera S. Francesco, a national government organization that delivers meals to the those in desperate need.

Fifty children from low-income families had their wish come true when they were given the presents they wished for by Amway staff and Business Owners in Germany. Working through the Multi-Generation House and the Food Bank in Puchheim, children were asked to write down their wishes which were placed on Christmas trees in the Amway head office and experience center, so Amway Business Owners and staff ABOs could choose and fulfill each wish.

 

Amway Austria donated 10 Euros to UNICEF for every seat sold at a special Christmas concert performed by talented teenage artists. The special musical, “Last Christmas,” was specially written for them and included rock and punk hits, as well as Christmas classics. The matching donations and an additional raffle raised 5,201 Euros.

 

Finally, Amway employee Kraig Haybarker made Christmas special as he does every year, by volunteering his time as Santa.

We hope you find special ways to give and receive this Christmas. See you next year!

Teaming up with the NBA

Wednesday, 19 December, 2012

Our CSR team wasn’t just in Orlando for Power Soccer last week. We also kicked off a new partnership with NBA teams and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN).

The Orlando Magic and Golden State Warriors basketball teams, along with Amway and GAIN, joined a campaign called Future Fortified, which is raising awareness and funds to help children live, grow, and learn through access to good nutrition.

During last Friday’s game, Amway and Future Fortified brought together local business leaders, philanthropists, activists and basketball fans to discuss the best approaches to help children get a good start in life through good nutrition. 

At the game, fans learned about nutrition through a new video, pre-game events and on-the-concourse activities.

   

Poor nutrition is the underlying cause of 1 in 3 childhood deaths worldwide. Future Fortified helps women and children around the world access essential nutrients during the critical 1,000 days from a woman’s pregnancy to a child’s second birthday.

Thanks to Jeff Terry and David Madiol for sharing this story.

Magic on the court

Monday, 17 December, 2012

Last week, we saw plenty of basketball, mixed with a little soccer.

Earlier this year, we profiled Power Soccer, played by athletes in power wheelchairs. Power Soccer is not just a game. It creates communities and friendships where they are most needed … as well as creating pure, intense competition.

All of this was on display during the Orlando Magic’s halftime show last Wednesday. While Atlanta and Orlando basketball players rested, Power Soccer players from Atlanta and Central Florida heated up the court with their own demonstration of speed and technique.

       

Some of Power Soccer’s biggest advocates and champions showed off their skills, including Jerome “Pika” Durand, Jerry Frick and Eric Dornan, along with more of the sport’s best players.

   

They had the crowd cheering for every near miss, and gasping at every spin kick from the heavy metal chairs.

           

It seemed to be an incredible experience for the players, and it was certainly a great show for the audience. But at the end of the day, it wasn’t intended for either.

We hope that this exposure will introduce the sport to another person in a power wheelchair who needs an outlet like Power Soccer, and just hasn’t heard about it yet. We want the word to spread.

If you know someone who may be interested in the sport, check out powersoccerusa.org.

Thanks to David Ruelas and RD Saunders for organizing a great Power Soccer demonstration, to JT McWalters and Matthew Keller for being amazing hosts on behalf of the Orlando Magic, and to David Madiol for helping us introduce the sport to the team.

Disaster relief … years later

Tuesday, 11 December, 2012

Each year, we experience overwhelming disasters: a massive storm system in the US this year, a destructive tsunami in Japan last year, a devastating earthquake in Haiti the year before … the list goes on.

We hear a lot about immediate relief efforts, but what happens over the long term?

In 2006, an earthquake in Yogyakarta, Indonesia destroyed 50,000 homes and 650 schools. Amway immediately responded.

 

Amway Indonesia partnered with local employees and distributors, raising a combined 1.6 billion rupiahs (around $166,000 USD) to focus on rebuilding efforts for elementary schools.

 

In 2007, two new elementary schools were presented to the government, and local communities.

 

But the work didn’t stop there. In 2008, Amway employees and distributors committed to contribute 100,000 rupiahs each month (approximately $11 USD) to support the ongoing education at these two schools, which is used to provide uniforms, books and shoes for the students.

 

And once each year during the school break, Amway employees and distributors visit the students for a day of activities, local tours, performances and friendship.

 

It often takes a lifetime to recover from a disaster. Amway people everywhere are showing that we are there to help.

 Thanks to Riana Nurwulen for sharing this story.

Amway is on the Today Show!

Thursday, 6 December, 2012

Hope you caught the Today Show on NBC yesterday. Kelli Miller from Amway North America announced a donation of $300,000 in product to the Today Show Toy Drive, in partnership with the US Direct Selling Association.

Check out the video by clicking here.

A little help goes a long way

Tuesday, 4 December, 2012

This story was sent by Doan Thi Dieu Thuy, our colleague from Amway Vietnam: 

“What is it?” asked a small, brown-haired boy sitting next to me, looking over his gift bag.

Toothpaste, shower cream and raincoat. Also, a school bag with notebooks, pens, pencils and ruler.

“Great! Toothpaste for dad, shower cream for mom … no … raincoat for dad since he is always on the farm … toothpaste for my younger sisters … they like it.”

What about the school supplies?

“For me and my sisters too.”

How many sisters do you have?

“Five. But just one goes to school like me. I can teach them reading and writing. I’m in third grade. But I can’t teach them much longer. My dad told me we don’t have enough money to let me go to school next year.”

Our story continued till the boy, named Le Thai Quan, was called to the bus. After school, he helps his parents in field, looks after his sisters and does housework. Despite having little time for study, he continues to distinguish himself with high marks.

Le Thai Quan is the first child of a poor family in Tan Tho, Vietnam, but a new opportunity is coming his way.  He is now one of 600 children in Nong Cong and Nhu Thanh, the poorest areas in Thanh Hoa central province, who will receive educational and medical assistance from Amway Vietnam in partnership with the local government.

“There are similar situations around these communes,” says Tam, a Vietnamese official from the Thanh Hoa Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (DOLISA). “Children must quit school as they have no money for study. Government sponsorship is not enough for all of them.”

“Every child is an opportunity for a better life,” says Amway Vietnam General Director How Kam Chiong. “That is our long-term commitment for the future development of the country.”

Our little friend’s prospects are changing. He will go to school. He will share his knowledge with his family. And his future will be bright.

Thanks to Doan Thi Dieu Thuy and Ha Dang Ngoc Thu for sharing this story. 

On Location: Beijing, China, Day 3

Friday, 30 November, 2012

The last couple of blog posts tell of our visit to a remote village in China, learning about the challenges of children whose parents have moved to the cities looking for better work.

Today, we spent time with children who moved with their parents to the cities as their parents seek jobs and economic opportunity.

These “migrant children” have significant needs related to education. Children of migrant families don’t have access to the same government-funded schooling as their urban peers, and need assistance from others to bridge the gap.

Amway is helping by building libraries and supporting other programs for children. We visited the Beijing Hongshan School, one of the recipients of this support.

Victoria Han and Amy Wu joined us. Both are Founders Council level Amway distributors, and big supporters of the Amway urban education program called Project Sunshine. They spent time with students in the new school library, and shared their stories with us.

We have much to consider and much more to share as we wrap up our trip to China. Look for more posts in the weeks to come, as well as a video that will tell the full story of the need of migrant children in China, and what Amway is doing to mobilize others to help.

Big thanks to our hosts Paula Peng, Rowley Luo, and the entire team at Amway China and the Amway Charity Foundation.

On location: Long Ma Village, Nanning, China, Day 2

Thursday, 29 November, 2012

We returned to the Long Ma Primary School, another three-hour drive out of the city, across the great fields of sugarcane, and through winding mountain passes.

We stopped along the way for a birds-eye view of the villages, and watched the many people going back and forth with their harvests and produce, each working hard to secure a better life.

Two married couples visited the village today and volunteered – Jack Zheng & Lucy Zhou, as well as Wang Cheng An & Yin Jianping. Both are Founders Council level Amway distributors and significant supporters of the Spring Sprout program. They toured classrooms, served meals, played games and distributed toys.

We had a chance conduct interviews of those in charge of the school, including the county mayor, as well as the Amway leaders. We even talked to some students who were “left behind” by parents that sought work in the cities.

There are some amazing partnerships happening in China through the leadership of Amway in the rural areas. This is only a glimpse, which we will expand into the full story in the weeks to come.

Tomorrow, we visit the city and learn what is being done to help children who join their parents in leaving remote village.

 

On location: Long Ma Village, Nanning, China, Day 1

Wednesday, 28 November, 2012

After hours of planes, shuttles and busses, we arrived in Nanning, China, then traveled further on to the Long Ma Village, through winding, bumpy roads surrounded by tropical hills.

Sugar cane takes up nearly every acre of arable land in this lush, green area of southern China. The fields are mostly maintained by older people and the few working adults have not moved to the big cities to find work.

For those who do follow China’s economic boom in urban areas to improve their opportunities, they have to decide whether to take their children with them. Many are left behind with grandparents and relatives in quiet towns and villages, where parents send their earnings.

This is the focus of our first visit, and after winding, bumpy roads through beautiful green hills, we arrive at the Long Ma Primary School, where at least 50% of the 361 children have parents away in the cities.

There, we met Jefferson Ren and Miao Dongmei, two Amway Founders Council-level distributors who have been big supporters of the Spring Sprout program, which aims to ensure that children left behind in rural areas have adequate nutrition and are well cared for.

A partnership between Amway, local schools and local and central governments, is outfitting school kitchens and enhancing them with staff and nutritious food.

We spent some time with the students, staff and Amway volunteers, learning more of the story.

Stay tuned for more!

 

Wheels up for China!

Monday, 26 November, 2012

We’ll be traveling to Beijing and Nanning this week, meeting some of our top Amway distributor leaders who have reached the Founders Council level of achievement, and are highly engaged in helping children.

There are two projects we will focus on in our travels, all supported by the Amway Charity Foundation. The first is called the Spring Sprout Project, which helps malnourished children in rural areas of the country. The second is called Project Sunshine, which provides resources to underserved schools in urban areas.

Can’t wait to share these stories when we return!