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On a Mission to Tacloban

Thursday, 20 March, 2014

It is almost gone from the media now, but the effects of Typhoon Haiyan are still very real.

Amway leaders made the 700-mile trek to Tacloban and Ormoc to visit some of our partner schools in that area, and deliver supplies to Amway Business Owners that were affected.

Families lined up in the rain to receive supplies that would help them stay healthy and clean as they worked to rebuild their communities.

Michelle Ochoa and Christine Sarmiento-Tria from our corporate office in Manila, Jom Diaz from our distribution center and Helen Espedido from our warehouse distributed 600 hygiene kits to 300 Amway Business Owners.

Another 400 were given to teachers at our partner schools, and families still living in an evacuation center.

The larger bulk of 10,000 kits that were packed by US employees on our Amway Universal Children’s Day will be distributed by International Aid and Convoy of Hope.

While in Tacloban, Amway continued its commitment to improving literacy by extending its reach to 11 schools in the area, which serve 15,000 children.

To deliver on a partner pledge made to the Department of Education in February, volunteers delivered books to all 11 school libraries in Tacloban City.

Our commitment to disaster affected communities cannot end after the initial wave of aid. Families need help rebuilding, and Amway leaders across the Philippines have shown outstanding support in keeping the cause alive.

We will try to share more stories as we see the hardest hit areas restored and energized, one person at a time, one by one.

Thanks to Michelle Ochoa for sharing these stories, and for all her organizing and advocacy efforts.

One Day In Malaysia

Friday, 14 March, 2014

One day in Malaysia saw the bright colors of paint, heard the deep sound of drums and smelled the freshness of green plants.

It was the Amway Universal Children’s Day, when activities were happening in 57 countries around the world.

Amway Malaysia teamed up with the State Welfare Agency and longtime partner Rumah Tunas Harapan Homes to celebrate with foster children and their parents.

The day started by teaching children about helping others.

They were given paint and ceramics to decorate, which would later be sold to raise money for those affected by Typhoon Haiyan.

While the paint dried, Amway invited expert musicians from Hands Percussion to teach the children how to play the drums.

Hands Percussion sends music teachers to remote areas of the country to spread the joy and learning of music, rhythm and dance.

Later that day, children, volunteers and parents put fresh plants in the 200 decorated pots, and put them up for sale, raising money for disaster relief.

Amway also delivered its own donation to Rumah Tunas Harapan, which will provide support for four of the homes that serve children who participated in the day’s events.

A new year of partnership has already begun, but for these new friends, the memories are still fresh.

Thanks to Joanne Yap and Russell Tan for sharing this story. Watch out for more posts on the Amway Universal Children’s Day in the upcoming weeks.

Zumbathon helps children with disabilities in Puerto Rico

Wednesday, 12 March, 2014

How can you get some exercise, learn some dance moves, meet new people and raise money to help others?

In a word: ZUMBA.

Last week, hundreds of people in Puerto Rico came together in a two-hour Zumbathon, led by 11 professional trainers.

An eclectic crowd danced to choreographed moves and lively music as they raised money for a good cause.

The event was organized by Amway, and Amway matched every $10-$15 entry fee to raise money for the Society for Education and Rehabilitation (SER).

SER is a nonprofit organization specializing in the needs of children with disabilities, through therapy services and preschool education that blends children with and without disabilities.

SER is also a partner of Easter Seals, another organization that helps children and people with disabilities through advocacy and direct services.

Easter Seals has been a decades-long partner of Amway in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.

Throughout the crowd, you could find people of all ages and fitness levels, as well as children with Spina Bifida, Autisim, Hirschsrpung and other disabilities.

But despite their differences, the crowd was connected by a common activity for a common cause … and for two hours, they showed their spirit lively and loudly!

Thanks to Ruben Familia and Rut Amaro for sharing this story.

Counting every child because every child counts

Monday, 17 February, 2014

UNICEF has released its 30th annual report on the State of the World’s Children, which tracks basic indicators down to the country level on the world’s 2.2 billion children.

While each year’s report typically comes with a deeper analysis on a specific issue, this report is focused on the meaning of data and how it influences the decisions we make.

There are a handful of basic behaviors and consequent data indicators that we know will give children a better chance at survival, health and economic success. This year’s report includes an interactive picture of how these indicators play out in real life.

 

The 30-year milestone provided UNICEF an opportunity to look back on the positive progress we’ve made since the report was published:

  • About 90 million children who would have died if mortality rates had stuck at their 1990 level have, instead, lived past the age of 5.
  • Deaths from measles among children under 5 years of age fell from 482,000 in 2000 to 86,000 in 2012, thanks in large part to increased immunization coverage.
  • Improvements in nutrition have led to a 37% drop in stunting since 1990.
  • Primary school enrolment has increased, even in the least developed countries, whereas in 1990 only 53% of children in those countries gained school admission, by 2011 the rate had improved to 81%.
  • Nearly 1.9 billion people have gained access to improved sanitation since 1990.

But the report also points out the data that calls for more action:

  • 6.6 million children under 5 years of age died in 2012, mostly from preventable causes.
  • 15% of the world’s children engage in child labor.
  • 11% of girls are married before they turn 15.
  • Children’s chances differ depending on whether their country is a rich or a poor one; whether they are born girls or boys, into families rich or poor; or whether they live in the countryside or the city – and there, too, whether they live in well-to-do areas or impoverished neighborhoods.

We are proud of the many initiatives Amway has around the world focused including healthcare, nutrition, immunizations, education, clean water, disaster relief, migrant populations and economic empowerment.

Yet the numbers remind us that there is much more to do, and we all play a role.

By the Numbers

Wednesday, 12 February, 2014

We use a mosaic of images to tell the story of Amway One by One, because it best represents the individual actions made every day from one person to another at a very local level.

However, when we add up all of those actions, we see some pretty significant numbers too. Along with our annual sales announcement last week, we announced an update to our global numbers for the ongoing campaign. Since 2003, Amway, Amway Business Owners and employees:

Helped 11 million children

Gave 3.1 million volunteer hours

Contributed $225 million USD

Thanks to everyone who is part of the stories and part of the numbers!

Discussions Around Corporate Volunteering

Friday, 7 February, 2014

There’s no magic formula for running corporate volunteer programs. In fact, the approach is very different from company to company.

But keeping an open discussion on this topic is important for all of us, even among competitors.

This week, Ryan Scott wrote The 6 Things You Need to Know About Corporate Volunteers for Forbes. He says, “Better understanding and addressing the range of reasons that people volunteer can help administrators develop a program that provides different opportunities for everyone.”

He referenced an article we wrote for the Triple Pundit: Are Corporate Volunteer Days Worth It? We looked at our global volunteer day last year, and decided it was worth it, but primarily as a global demonstration of our commitment.

The Points of Light Foundation now has a Corporate Institute that has formalized a set of Seven Practices of Effective Employee Volunteer Programs, including:

  1. A specific PLAN with goals and strategies
  2. MEASURES for process and results
  3. A program DESIGN that matches the capabilities of the company
  4. Support from internal LEADERS
  5. Strategic PARTNERS from the nonprofit, government and private sector
  6. A high level of employee ENGAGEMENT
  7. A way to RECOGNIZE and celebrate success

And taking the conversation globally, the International Association for Volunteer Effort and its Global Corporate Volunteer Council  holds regional and international conferences on the topic of volunteering, and writing comprehensive studies, like the one called Corporate Volunteering in the Global Age, published just last year.

One day in Europe

Thursday, 6 February, 2014

The biggest challenge in coordinating volunteer activities across Europe is diversity. Amway does business in 29 countries – that’s a pretty big mix of languages, cultures and personalities.

Amway Business Owners and employees across Europe are engaged in supporting many local causes. But our best successes have been when we join hands across countries to focus on single efforts, like raising money to immunize children in Kenya, or building preschools in Turkey, or providing portable desks in South Africa.

On November 20, Amway Europe proved once again that we can make a big difference when we all work together.

Amway Business Owners and staff across 29 countries joined forces to sell, purchase and donate product packages throughout the month of October. Then, in November, volunteers spent 2,593 hours packing and distributing the products to organizations in their local communities that help children. This included orphanages, food banks, hospitals and many others. 

More than 10,000 personal kits were distributed to underprivileged families and children. That’s the power of unified action!

 

Thanks to Karin Schmid and Sarah Wellner for sharing this story. You will see more stories from our Amway Universal Children’s Day in the coming weeks.

Drawing Taiwanese Leaders to the Cause

Thursday, 30 January, 2014

Happy Chinese New Year! In honor of the holiday, we have a great story to share.

Our work with children of migrant families in rural China is drawing support from beyond the mainland. Below is a video that tells the story of one of our top Taiwanese leaders, Foo Howe Kean, who recently visited some of the projects he has supported.

A leader in the Amway Founders Council, and a leader in the community, Mr. Foo has been a champion of generosity. He has donated and raised money following disasters in China, Indonesia, Taiwan, and most recently in the Philippines.

When Mr. Foo was introduced to the Amway Charity Foundation and learned about the impact that Spring Sprouts Kitchens could have on the life of children, he was an early supporter. His visit to the Eqiao Primary School confirmed that his investment was needed, and well used.

Check out the video below, or click here for a direct link.

A Memorable Wedding

Monday, 27 January, 2014

Amway employees Katie Blough and Brian Pirog decided to make their wedding memorable by giving a special gift through their friends and family.

For each of their guests, they donated books to children in the local community who may struggle with literacy and don’t always have access to books for the home. The idea was inspired by Katie’s maid of honor, who teaches special education classes for young children.

You can read the full story from the Heart of West Michigan United Way, which coordinated their donation.

Congratulations to Katie and Brian on their marriage, and for starting it with a strong foundation of generosity!

Are Corporate Volunteer Days Worth It?

Thursday, 23 January, 2014

The Triple Pundit published our guest post about our exprience with global volunteer days, and a discussion around whether they are worth the time and expense. (spoiler alert: they are valuable if they are about more than just volunteering)

Here’s the link: http://www.triplepundit.com/2014/01/corporate-volunteer-days-worth