Category “Headquarters”

Dream Playground – the Rest of the Story

Monday, 23 June, 2014

Two months ago, we shared the story of local youth designing the playground of their dreams.

Those dreams became reality for the students of Grand Rapids Ellington Academy of Arts & Technology.

More than 300 volunteers from Amway, Ellington Academy, local residents and organizers from KaBOOM! joined forces to bring the dream to life in a single day.

A playground is more than a playground. It’s a brain-expander, friend-maker and muscle-builder. Play is central to a child’s ability to grow into a productive adult.

And when a playground is made with local hands and feet, it also creates a sense of ownership and pride that can bind a community together.

Congratulations to anyone who sketched ideas, provided funds, shoveled mulched, assembled parts, tightened screws, served meals or rallied volunteers … and to those who have already made this playspace their own.

Thanks to Julie Boehr for sharing this story. You can see more pictures on our photostream.

The Best Way to Spend a Saturday

Friday, 13 June, 2014

Every year, rain or shine, a group of volunteers meets in Grand Rapids, Michigan on a Saturday to help with the Michigan Special Olympics.

Sometimes the drive is short – just a few minutes to the Spring Games.

Other times, they load up on a bus and drive an hour and a half to Mount Pleasant, where Central Michigan University hosts the  Summer Games.

It’s not always easy to find a volunteer activity that provides so many benefits.

At the Special Olympics games, volunteers can participate in groups with their friends and family – and even young volunteers can play a role.

Volunteers work directly with the athletes who benefit from the program.

And they often learn about a new sport along the way.

Nonprofit expert Joanne Fritz has identified 10 ways to make sure volunteers come back, which include:

  • Welcoming them
  • Making them feel welcomed
  • Providing good training
  • Offering interesting work
  • Being clear about the time commitment
  • Making them feel appreciated
  • Communicating well and often
  • Letting them feel like they are improving the world
  • Facilitating social connections
  • Helping them learn something new

Special Olympics has created exactly this kind of experience for volunteers.

And while weekend volunteering can be the most difficult time to attract corporate staff, Amway employees keep coming back, year after year.

It might just be the best way to spend a Saturday.


Thanks to Julie Boehr, Jim Ayres and the many volunteers who support Michigan Special Olympics.

Adventures in Babysitting

Friday, 30 May, 2014

As a father of four, I’m very selective about who takes care of my children. Our babysitter list is short and in most cases we call on the grandparents.

Now that we have a daughter who is old enough to babysit on her own, we want her to be prepared, and able to take care of other people’s children.

Fortunately for her, she will soon get a chance to attend Adventures in Babysitting.

It’s a program hosted by Amway Protection Services staff who, in addition to overseeing the protection of employees and property, lend their expertise to help in our community, and around our offices and manufacturing facilities.

Adventures in Babysitting is a free program for youth children and friends of Amway employees. They learn child and infant CPR, first aid, diaper changing, feeding time, where to call in an emergency, home-alone safety, the responsibilities of babysitting and more.

Our experts also draw on the expertise of community partners, including the DeVos Children’s Hospital, the Ada Fire Department, the Kent County Sheriff’s Department and the Big Steps Little Feet Childcare Center.

While there is no way to cover every situation that comes up, I will feel more confident knowing my daughter has been trained and thought through different scenarios.

I’ll also be much more likely to expand my list of babysitters to include those who have been trained … and give the grandparents a rest.

Written by Jesse Hertstein. Thanks to Julie Boehr and Brian Savin for sharing this information.

Designing the playground of your dreams

Monday, 28 April, 2014

In Grand Rapids, Michigan, near Amway world headquarters, students at Grand Rapids Ellington Academy of Arts and Technology got a chance to draw the playground of their dreams.

Playground experts at KaBOOM! will take their ideas and incorporate them into the design of a real playground that will be built by Amway volunteers and local community members in June.

This will be playground number 15 built by Amway volunteers across the US.

Recognition Near and Far

Thursday, 17 April, 2014

We often talk about the millions of Amway Business Owners and their positive impact on local communities. But we also have 21,000 employees that are highly engaged in our programs and passionate about their local communities.

At our headquarters in West Michigan, USA, Amway was recognized for mobilizing our employees with the Best CSR Program in Ragan’s 2013 Employee Communications Awards.

And on the other side of the world, Amway Vietnam received the Golden Dragon award for its “strategic vision and long-term commitment to invest in the domestic market.”

The award focused on our quality, our great employee worker conditions, green manufacturing processes and business transparency. The judges included editors from the Economic Times of Vietnam.

Thanks for all the great efforts of our employees!

10 Years, 10 Million Children

Thursday, 24 January, 2013

We have reached an important milestone.

The Amway One by One Campaign for Children has been transforming lives for 10 years.

What started as a corporate initiative in 2003 has become a grassroots movement of Amway distributors and employees helping children around the world. While Amway affiliates build alliances with local partners, it is the 3 million distributors and 20,000 employees who have helped us to bring our efforts for children to scale.

At the end of 2012, we have counted 10 million children who have been positively impacted through Amway One by One.

Actions include building hospital playrooms in Russia, enabling better nutrition at schools in rural China, providing customized bikes for children with disabilities in Australia, constructing homes in Guatemala and mentoring urban youth in the United States. There are more examples in every region where Amway does business.

Amway One by One has always been about inspiring and encouraging individual actions for children in need. Now, looking back over ten years, we see a beautiful mosaic of hope, inspiration and generosity.

Thanks to everyone who has joined Amway to build better lives for children in our communities.

This year, we celebrate these accomplishments and recognize the work of so many Amway people. But we also challenge ourselves to deepen our efforts, and will close the year with a demonstration of collective support for children in need, around the world.

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.

Employee Play Dates

Friday, 19 October, 2012

Children love to have play dates – a time for their friends to visit and spend time having fun together.

But for those in shelters following abuse,  neglect or abandonment, it can be a sad time when visitors are few and far between.

Amway employees in southern California have been taking time to make sure children at the Orangewood Children’s Home have regular visits from their friends.

Last month, a group of volunteers spent time with children at Orangewood. They even brought earthquake preparedness kits and held an earthquake drill to teach them emergency skills.

And earlier this summer, they helped to host a family picnic and carnival over the weekend for Orangewood foster families, which included more than 600 kids and adults with food, games prizes and fun activities.

When is the last time you offered your time to play?

Thanks to Machelle Cox for sharing this story.  

A United Way

Tuesday, 18 September, 2012

It’s Campaign Week at Amway headquarters in West Michigan!

But this isn’t a sales drive – instead, it’s the biggest fundraising and volunteer recruitment effort of the year, working through the United Way.

The United Way mobilizes the caring power of volunteers, donors, agencies and community partners to improve the quality of life in local communities, particularly for the underserved. Donations collected by the Heart of West Michigan United Way support more than 60 agencies across West Michigan, with a focus on improving education, health and employment in our community.

Amway has coordinated a campaign for years, and employees have stepped up to the challenge, providing more than $600,000 each year in donations, which are matched by the company with $.50 for every dollar donated. Fundraising ranges from the simple (direct donations and payroll deductions) to the dramatic (bake sales, silent auctions and motorcycle rides among others).

The campaign is hands-on too. Each year, time is set aside for a community-wide “Day of Caring,” full of service projects by individuals and corporations for United Way partners. Amway employees show up in full force, mentoring children and providing manual labor to clean up camps and centers that serve children.

It’s an important time of year, a “united way” of lifting our community, and we’re proud to be a part.