Different Communities, Common Partners

Jun 25, 2014

Amway people support hundreds of organizations around the globe, many that you will never hear about.

But a few organizations surface over and over, as key partners that employees and Amway Independent Business Owners (IBOs) are passionate about.

One is Ronald McDonald House Charities. It serves families who have children in the hospital by providing those families with housing and meals during a difficult time.

Amway volunteers in the United States and Germany can be found doing renovations, making meals and raising funds for the cause.

More recently, the Senior Manager of Amway New Zealand shared a story of how local staff and IBOs hosted 60 people at the local Ronald McDonald House in Auckland.

The volunteers served a warm, three-course meal for parents with seriously ill children.

So while they may not know it, volunteers across the world are sharing a common partner, and a common mission, to make life a little better for their neighbors.

Thanks to Simon Bennett for sharing this story, and for Diamonds Simon and Yvonne Godfrey and Christine Muller, and IBOs Trish and Talbot Murray for joining us in this project.

Dream Playground – the Rest of the Story

Jun 23, 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

Jun 13, 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.

Latest Amway CSR Report Published

Jun 10, 2014

Our 2013 Global Corporate Social Responsibility Report has just been published.

It covers a lot of activity and progress towards engaging our PEOPLE, utilizing the expertise of our PRODUCTS, and ensuring sustainable PERFORMANCE.

Some highlights include:

  • A recap of our 10 year, 10 million children milestone celebration for the Amway One by One Campaign for Children
  • The launch of the Nutrilite Power of 5 Campaign to fight global childhood malnutrition
  • Gains in waste recycling, alternative energy use and product lifecycle analysis

Find out more at the Amway Newsroom.

The Boat School

Jun 05, 2014

In the spirit of Throwback Thursday, we found this story deep in our archives. It’s about a school on a boat in rural China.

This was one of the first stories we discovered when creating the Amway One by One Campaign for Children more than ten years ago.

And it goes like this …

“Why aren’t you in school?” the 46-year-old Hu Yake asked a group of about 10 children playing along the shores of Lake Hongze, a large water body about 180 kilometers northeast of Nanjing in a remote area of east-central China. This was in 1999.

“Because we live on the boats. We have no school,” came the reply. Mr. Hu, a former math teacher who owned a fish farm on the lake, was shocked. But the children were not truant; they were telling the truth.

As the children of illiterate fishermen from other parts of the country who lived on their families’ boats on the lake, they were not eligible to attend the already crowded and financially strained local grade school.

Right then Mr. Hu scrapped his plans to invest his savings in a second fish farm. He resolved instead to build a school for the fishermen’s children.

First he taught a group of 11 in a hut on his own property. Then, using his own money, borrowed funds and some help from local government officials, he acquired an old, 85-foot, open-topped cargo barge.

He designed and built a flat-roof, three-room structure that covered nearly the length of the boat. Using cement for walls and floors, combination windows and wooden beams to support the roof, he built a strong, watertight schoolhouse for children ages 6 through 12.

In 2002, after learning of the school’s plight through a broadcast news report, the Nanjing office of Amway China launched a support program for the boat school that included 50,000 RMB to help cover the cost of upgrading the boat structure, acquiring textbooks and paying the teacher.

Lifejacket-clad children either walked or rode in their parents’ boats to school, which they entered by trooping across an old plank. Mr. Hu, a modest, quiet man, lived in the third room on the boat with his wife and a teenage son who helped run the school.

Even today, Mr. Hu’s example is inspiring to Amway Business Owners and anyone else who believes that great deeds begin when someone takes the first step.

A Commitment to Remember

Jun 05, 2014

Disaster stories pass in and out of our attention very quickly.

But for those who have experienced catastrophic loss, the rebuilding continues over a long period of time.

Last year, a monsoon devastated Uttarakhand in northern India, affecting thousands of people as well as their homes and livelihoods.

The Amway Opportunity Foundation team and Amway Business Owner leaders visited the site to understand the impact of the disaster, and found a way to channel relief efforts.

Last week, Amway announced a partnership with Paryavaran Jadi-Buti Agro Sansthan (JADDI) to build 36 homes in the affected area. The houses will be earthquake resistant, portable and able to accommodate up to ten people.

The Amway Opportunity Foundation has raised 51,00,000 INR ($99,000 USD) from the company, employees and Amway Business Owners to support this effort.

A memorandum of understanding was signed at the ceremony, and construction is expected to begin soon.

Thanks to Raj Narain for sharing this story.

Thousands are Raising Their Hands!

Jun 03, 2014

Nutrilite Power of 5 events are starting to pop up all over the world.

People are responding to our challenge to “Raise Your Hand: Fight Global Childhood Malnutrition.”

They are adding their handprints to our collage. They are donating money to the Nutrilite Power of 5 campaign. And they are sharing their experiences on Instagram and other social media sites using hashtag #Powerof5.

Below are a few snapshots we have received. You can watch for events coming to your area, or visit Nutrilite.com/LittleBits.


Poland

India

Lithuania

Turkey

Czech Republic

South Korea

Romania

Norway

United States

United States – Amway Headquarters

Adventures in Babysitting

May 30, 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.

11 Hours: A New Amway Achievement Level

May 29, 2014

Clean the floors. Stack the books. Serve the meals. Paint the walls.

It all adds up.

Amway Philippines kicked off a new program designed to incentivize even more volunteer involvement with partners across the country.

It started in May, where Amway Business Owners and staff helped out at seven schools nearby our Amway Distribution Centers.

Local ABOs, company leaders and community members all pitched in to create celebrations and organize worksites for volunteers.

Volunteers who gave three hours earned a special pin. Those that reached the goal of 11 hours received a commemorative polo shirt.

And those that participate in three events throughout the year will receive a discount voucher for Amway products.

It all honors 11 years of the Amway One by One campaign in the Philippines, and it culminates on November 20, the date of last year’s Amway Universal Children’s Day.

In its kickoff week, the 11 Hours Project and Cleanup Drive for Amway Partner Schools engaged more than 70 people, contributing 500 volunteer hours.

Next up will be the Storytelling Caravan, held each month in schools to elevate the student’s excitement around reading, with a focus on increased literacy skills.

We are excited to celebrate the year of 11!

Thanks to Michelle Ochoa for sharing this story.

From the Mouth of Richard Branson

May 28, 2014

“Business leaders who are entrepreneurially minded should get out and tackle the issues of the world. Small business can address more local problems. Larger business should take on global issues.”

Sir Richard Branson, entrepreneur, adventurer and philanthropist, spoke at the Economic Club of Grand Rapids, near Amway headquarters, last night.

He talked about starting more than 400 companies that include Virgin Airlines and Virgin Records. He recounted his crossing of the Atlantic Ocean in a balloon after accidentally losing two fuel tanks.

He spoke of being knighted by the Queen of England, and his fear that she would chastise him for a song produced by his company that did not speak fondly of her. And he spoke of his latest venture – making space travel available to all – or at at least, for now, all who can afford the $250,000 price tag.

But mostly, he spoke about changing the world for the better.

His company created the Virgin Unite program, which is utilizing the strengths of the company – entrepreneurial minded thinking – to create solutions to poverty. You can’t help but draw parallels with Amway One by One, which mobilizes the generosity of our own business owners and employees to address local issues.

Branson also shared his experience working with The Elders, a group of global leaders founded by President Nelson Mandela to reduce conflicts around the world. He believes that in this day and age, we should be able to resolve differences without war and strife.

Here are a few more nuggets from the night:

“Businesses owners looking only to make money usually don’t succeed. People who are successful often start their business out of frustration.”

“Business gets a bad rap … they are generally created to make people’s lives better. At the end of the year, they hope more money comes in than goes out.”

“If you find yourself in a position where you can make a positive difference in other people’s lives, it would be a shame not to give 100 percent to help.”