Category “Disaster Relief”

Past, Present, Future: A story from the Philippines

Friday, 16 August, 2013


Just a few weeks before Christmas last year, disaster struck in Mindanao. Typhoon Bhopa, locally called Tropical Storm Pablo, was declared a category 5 super typhoon that left more than 1,000 people dead and roughly 80,000 homeless.

Davao Oriental was one of the most damaged areas. Hectares of coconut plantations were uprooted, resulting in lost livelihood for locals who depend on farming. Fear, hunger and chaos spread across the area like the darkness that enveloped them on the night that Pablo took away not only their homes but the lives of the people they loved.


Just a few weeks ago, an Amway Philippines One by One Campaign team traveled six hours to demonstrate the “Bayanihan” spirit (sense of community or fellowship) at Bangaga’s Lambajon Central Elementary School located at Davao Oriental.

Some 300 colorful One by One Campaign school bags packed with school supplies and food were delivered to new primary students. The school, whose library was razed to the ground, also received 150 storybooks to continue bringing values-laden stories to children and help them forget the trauma of disaster.



In honor of the commitment to this and other projects for local schools, as well as a commitment to help rebuild communities devastated by Pablo, Amway Philippines received a certificate of recognition from The Department of Education’s Adopt a School Program. Amway also renewed its commitment by entering into a 5-year partnership that will propel efforts far into the future: one school at a time, one child at a time, one by one.


Thanks to Michelle Ochoa and Rex Lalata for sharing this story.

Adjusting your strategy when disaster strikes

Friday, 22 February, 2013

Last week, we received an update from SOS Children’s Villages on the groundbreaking of a village of homes for orphaned and abandoned children in Haiti. This news comes nearly three years since a massive earthquake killed 200,000 and displaced millions of Haitians.

For some, three years is just too long to wait. But major disasters call for a different strategic approach to humanitarian support, particularly from companies.

Ever since the Southeast Asian Tsunami in 2004, we have put systems in place to monitor and respond to major disasters, especially in communities where we have employees and distributors. We were among the first companies to respond to the Sichuan earthquake in China, the tsunami in Japan, and the recent storms in the US.

Haiti is no exception. Amway and its people raised more than $1 million for relief efforts, primarily through the American Red Cross, and we used our corporate planes to transport medical and humanitarian aid professionals immediately to the affected areas. But we also set aside funds for long-term rebuilding through Amway One by One.

It’s easy to walk away once the emotion settles and the cameras go away. But that is often when our help and long-term commitment is needed the most. Few may realize that the effects of the earthquake in Haiti are still felt, and more than 350,000 still live in tent camps.

SOS Children’s Village has done amazing work in building partnerships to establish an additional village in Haiti, a place already known for difficult land ownership rights and in additional bureaucratic turmoil when the earthquake took away many staff and records.

Today, we see the investment pay off, and we see a foundation that will serve many children into the future, providing a family environment and a future for those who need it most.

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.

Disaster relief from New York to the Philippines

Friday, 16 November, 2012


A delivery is on its way to Easter Seals centers in New York and New Jersey, with 64,000 Amway products to help local families, from laundry detergent to food bars to personal care items. Amway Independent Business Owners will help with the distribution.

This is phase two or our disaster relief efforts, and adds to the $70,000 raised on our website by Amway IBOs and employees for the Red Cross, which will be matched by Amway.

A little over a year ago, a similar effort was underway.

Incessant monsoon rains flooded the streets in Barangays Sumilang and Bagong Ilog in Pasig cities in the Philippines. The government declared a state of emergency. Residents left their houses, businesses and farm lands to seek for shelter. Clean water and food were scarce. 

Amway Philippines General Manager, Leo Boon Wang, led a group of employees to help 300 families affected by the rain. They rolled their sleeves, put on their rubber boots and braved the pouring rain to deliver survival bags full with emergency items. 

Working with local government, Amway Philippines volunteers did what they could to provide immediate relief to those families in need.

It is reassuring to know that when major disasters strike in our communities, Amway people are there to help out.

Tracking the effects of Hurricane Sandy

Thursday, 1 November, 2012

Here in the US, we’ve been watching the hurricane situation unfold across the east coast this week. More than 111,000 Amway Independent Business Owners (IBOs) are located in the affected area, a significant portion of our US population, as well as a several employees.

According to Sandy Spielmaker, Vice President of Sales for Amway North America, “Our first priority has been to reach out to determine if everyone is OK, and reports so far indicate that all are safe.”

That’s good news, although we do know that some IBOs have had severe damage to their homes, and may have trouble getting orders for their business. Amway is holding some orders until East Coast terminals are operating or alternatives are identified.

As we do in the event of major disasters around the world, Amway is collecting donations for the American Red Cross on We will match these donations up to $100,000, and will continue to monitor the situation to determine if more help is needed.

Thanks to all of you who have offered your words of support, your prayers and your donations.

Earthquake damage in Italy spurs action

Monday, 13 August, 2012

Earlier this year, a series of 34 earthquakes hit the Italian region of Emilia, including a 5.8 magnitude quake on May 29.

In just two months, the quakes caused several deaths and destroyed hundreds of houses and buildings, including some historic medieval architecture.

Immediately following the first wave of severe quakes, Amway Italy Geneal Manager Fabrizio Suaria issued a call to action.

Amway quickly began to provide cleaning and personal hygiene products to those in the affected areas, delivered by Amway Business Owners.

Amway staff also took part, volunteering their time to dismantle an outdoor church that collapsed during the earthquakes, and making plans to return again soon.


In addition, Amway launched a campaign to raise funds. Through the support of Amway, ABOs and employees, a kindergarten that had been completely destroyed in the city of Finale will soon be rebuilt.


Thanks to Sarah Wellner for sharing this story. To view a photo gallery of Amway volunteers, click here and to see a gallery of the school that will be rebuilt by Amway, click here.

Before it’s too late

Friday, 27 April, 2012

During our research for the publication of our 2011 Global Citizenship Report, we noted a lot of activity around disaster response. Many natural catastrophes devastated the communities of our friends and colleagues last year.

What hasn’t received nearly as much attention is an emphasis around prevention.

In India, the Bihar State (adjacent to Nepal) is recognized as a multi-disaster-prone territory with a history of moderate to severe earthquakes.

Amway India is partnering with the Bihar Disaster Management Authority to help residents take measures to mitigate the risk of a future earthquake, and using the Bihar Centenary Day celebration to create awareness.

They installed posters and created pamphlets, teaching local leaders about earthquake resistant construction technology and teaching the general public basic tips for what to do in the event of an earthquake.

While these efforts may not make global headlines like an actual disaster, they may in the end be more impactful and save even more lives.

Thanks to Raj Narain for sharing this story.

An update on rebuilding efforts in Haiti

Monday, 26 March, 2012

It has been two years since the devastating earthquake in Haiti. At that time, Amway and its employees and distributors rose to the occasion with an outpouring of generosity for several causes, including the building of a new SOS Children’s Village Home. Following is an update from SOS on the recovery efforts.

Dear Jesse and All Amway Employees and IBOs,

Two years after the earthquake that devastated Port-au-Prince, killing over 200,000 and deeply impacting the lives of nearly 10 million survivors, SOS Children’s Villages staff remain dedicated to helping build a stronger Haiti. The generosity of Amway employees and Amway IBOs has helped us to develop programs to improve the lives of thousands of Haitian children and families. This report provides an update on the impact of these programs.

You have, no doubt, read the sad reports about the 500,000+ people still living in tent camps rife with violence, about the thousands of children who do not attend school, and about basic infrastructure projects that have not yet begun. Now I want to share with you some positive news…news about SOS Children’s Villages in Haiti.

I recently visited the Port-au-Prince SOS Children’s Village known as Santo on the second anniversary of the earthquake. At SOS Santo, almost 200 children are growing-up in safe, happy, family homes nurtured by very dedicated SOS Mothers. The true affection shown for these children by their SOS Mothers reminded me how the SOS model, developed over 60 years, raises orphaned children to be secure, responsible adults who value family and work to strengthen their communities.

Again and again, I witnessed scenes that reminded me of my childhood and could have taken place in any neighborhood in the world. I saw mothers serving wonderful meals to their hungry children who had just returned from school. They encouraged the children to concentrate on homework and monitored chores like laundry and bedroom cleaning. In their free time, the boys and girls played soccer and tag and interacted like any other brothers and sisters.

Across Haiti, we are providing long-term, family-based homes to children with no biological family to care for them. We have two established SOS Children’s Villages in Port-au-Prince and in Cap Haitien in the north. A third Village will be constructed beginning this year in Les Cayes, with help from our friends from Amway. A fourth Village in Port-au-Prince is in the planning stages.

Thank you again for your support.

Lisa Vogt

SOS Children’s Villages – USA

Responding in the Philippines

Friday, 17 February, 2012

After hearing news of so many disasters in 2011, few people heard of the heavy rains and flooding in the Philippines in December.

Hundreds of people died in the aftermath of Typhoon Sedong in Cagayan de Oro. It was the worst natural disaster in the Philippines in a decade.

Amway Philippines rallied to help. They packaged relief goods, with help from Amway distributors and employees. And they set up donation sites to help the families affected by the flooding.

Last month, Amway leaders turned over a check for P500,000 ($11,700 USD) to the Philippine Red Cross for the rehabilitation of victims of Typhoon Sendong in Cagayan de Oro.

We extend our appreciation to colleagues and friends in the Philippines for their generosity.




 Thanks to Suzanne Comagon for sharing this story.

After the floods, a place to gather

Friday, 6 January, 2012

The Queensland Floods of 2010/2011 was one of the worst disasters to ever hit Australia. Since then we have seen many communities rebuild, such as the small flood ravaged town of Grantham.

Visiting the town of Grantham nearly one year later, Queensland Premier Anna Bligh officially opened the new Grantham Estate. A part of the new estate is the Grantham Park Memorial Shelter, a place for the community to remember and enjoy each other’s company.

Amway donated $50,000 to help the people of Queensland recover from the floods, half of which went specifically towards the Grantham Park Memorial Shelter.

“After all the tragedy and devastation it’s inspiring to see the strength and resilience of the Grantham community,” said John Haines, head of Sales for Amway Australia. “The local community, through the leadership of the Mayor and people such as Amway IBOs and recipients of the Pride of Australia medal for their services to the community Derek and Chris Pingel, has achieved so much in such a short period of time. It was a pleasure to be able to contribute to the Grantham Park Memorial Shelter and we appreciate the Queensland Premier being able to attend the official opening.”

Thanks to Kevin Lowe for sharing this story.