Posts tagged with “Easter Seals”

Amway Founders Council: The Britts

Thursday, 9 January, 2014

A few months ago, we told the story of a legacy. It follows Bill and Peggy Britt, Amway Founders Council leaders who have inspired other leaders in their Britt Worldwide organization to help others.

We just finished a video that helps bring the story to life, following the work of a childcare center in Bronx, New York.

Thanks to everyone who has a part of this amazing work, and who opened their doors and their hearts to us!

Look out below!

Monday, 23 September, 2013

Amway Independent Business Owner Barbara Morales recently celebrated her 80th birthday in a very big way—by jumping out of a plane!…all to benefit the families served by Easter Seals Southern California.

Barbara was joined in the skies over Lake Elsinore, California, by her husband of 62 years, Frank Morales. He even wore his tuxedo. It was a special occasion after all.

They raised over $2,500 with matching grants still coming in. “We want to help people at Easter Seals,” Barbara Morales said. “If we hear someone needs help, we don’t ever walk away.”

The couple, Diamonds in their Amway business, have been involved with Easter Seals for more than 50 years. It was only natural that a day about them would be spent focusing on the needs of others. 

“Our motto is to ‘have fun, make money and make a difference,” said Frank Morales. “We hope to set an example for all people that you can do what you might think you can’t.”

And speaking of examples—Barbara credited former president George H. W. Bush, who celebrated his 85th birthday by skydiving near his home in Maine, as the inspiration for her crazy celebration.

See the full story and links to more photos at Thanks to Marsha Champion for sharing this story.

Dress up, drop down

Friday, 13 September, 2013

It’s that time of the year! In sixteen Canadian cities, everyday “superheros” donned their capes and rapelled down buildings…all to benefit the children served by Easter Seals Canada.

The fun is known as Drop Zone and provides perfectly normal, albeit big hearted, people an opportunity to buckle on a helmet, tighten their climbing harnesses, and with a big leap of faith step over the edge of a building.  Since 2005, more than 2,300 individuals have participated, raising over $3.76 million for kids with physical disabilities through 56 Drop Zone events from coast to coast.

Greg Anthoine, an Amway Independent Business Owner, from Ottawa, Ontario, participated in his 4th Drop Zone event on September 23, dressed as Captain America. Because each team member is required to raise a minimum of $1500 to participate, Greg, and his team of Marvel Comics superheroes hosted a fundraiser prior to the event, in full costume at a local pizza shop in Ottawa.

Greg sees a similarity between the courage it takes to rappel and the courage it takes to start your own business—“sometimes people are a little nervous (about starting an Amway independent business). They’ve never been in business. They’ve never recruited anybody to do anything – the things that you need to learn to build an Amway business. But I think if a person can raise money and then rappel off a building they have the confidence to do the basic things they will need to build an Amway business.”

Excerpted from Thanks to Marsha Champion and Carmela Ianni for sharing this story.

It’s not your average walk.

Wednesday, 17 July, 2013

This was the sentiment as we took in the Easter Seals Walk With Me event in New York last week. Standing across the street from Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, there was an electric buzz in the air.


Amway Independent Business Owners (IBOs) filled the park – from full-time leaders of massive international networks to second generation up-and-comers, to new entrants into the business.


Yet they weren’t the only element that made this walk a special mix. The children and families who benefit from Easter Seals services were right there with us, meeting IBOs, trying Amway products, and getting autographs from Miss America.


Before the walk kicked off, there was a moment of silence for Bill Britt, who passed away earlier this year. Bill and Peggy Britt are among the highest achieving Amway leaders in the world, and they helped to inspire many leaders in their network to support Easter Seals over a 30 year partnership that has raised more than $32 million for children and families, much of it from local community efforts like those in the New York area.

To kick off the walk, the Britt team presented a check for $50,000 that was raised for this event (the event would net $225,000 overall). This was heaped on top of another $50,000 that the Britt team gave at the annual Paving the Way black-tie gala the week before.

Fresh off a visit to the Easter Seals Bronx Child Development Center earlier in the day, the event brought home the importance of these gatherings, and how in the end, the benefit we receive outweighs the investment we make. 

Thanks to the Britts, the Galas, the Nardones, the Pappalardos, the Pavlides, the Callendars, the Melillos… and the many other IBO leaders who invited us into this special community of Easter Seals supporters in New York. Click here for more photos.

Humbled in the Bronx

Tuesday, 16 July, 2013

“Your child has special needs.”

It’s a diagnosis no parent wants to hear. Immediately, they begin to think about the implications of a life with great challenges. Simple milestones like walking, talking or picking up a toy will require therapy, practice and patience.

In The Bronx, New York, parents face even more obstacles, because they often cannot afford the custom services their child needs. Many do not speak English, which makes it difficult to advocate for their son or daughter.

That’s where Easter Seals steps in. Powered by caring workers, dedicated volunteers, and generous supporters, at the Easter Seals Child Development Center in the Bronx, miracles are taking place. Here, they serve more than 100 preschool-aged children, providing classroom experiences, physical, occupational and speech therapy, in a loving, creative environment.

We spoke to Patricia Cosom, who told us about her son Fantia, age 5. He was born with fluid in his ears that caused hearing loss and other development delays. In a few years at the Center, big changes have happened.

“When he first came here, he fell anywhere from 30 to 50 times a day,” Patricia says. “The falling is zero, no more falls. Before coming, he was totally non-verbal. I could not communicate with him in any kind of way.  They’ve taught him sign language, how to communicate, how to meet his needs without having to throw a temper tantrum. I can actually understand what he’s saying, what he’s trying to say.”

Fantia greets all of the guests at the center, walking up and shaking their hands. You would never know that he had so much to overcome. You would never know he once had problems recognizing people and their names.

Another Mother, Natasha Miranda, talks about the milestones that her daughter Leslie, age 4, has reached. “She plays. She reads. She writes a lot.  She talks. She interacts with the kids and the staff,” Natasha says. “Staff will literally call you and say your child is doing great. I love how she’s doing.”

On Friday, we visited the Center with Amway Independent Business Owners (IBOs) who are regular visitors, and regular supporters.

Amway IBOs have visited the Bronx Center many times, and use stories like Fontia’s as inspiration to give, volunteer, serve on local boards, and inspire others to get involved. The Easter Seals partnership with Amway spans more than 30 years, and has raised more than $32 million.


Many point to leaders like Bill and Peggy Britt, Amway IBO leaders and members of the Amway Founders Council, who have integrated giving and service into their lifestyle, and encouraged others to get involved.

How do they do it? Check in with us tomorrow to learn about Walk With Me.

Thanks to Patricia Cosom, Natasha Miranda, Angela Torres, Tom Renart, John McGrath and the entire Child Development Center staff for their hospitality and dedication to the children they serve. Click here for more photos.

Wheels up for New York City!

Thursday, 11 July, 2013

This week, we are traveling to New York City to attend the annual Easter Seals Walk in the Bronx!

Amway Independent Business Owners have supported Easter Seals for more than 30 years, raising $30 million for children and adults with disabilities. One of the biggest groups of supporters is in the New York area. We look forward to capturing their stories and the positive impact the work is having on children there.

Much of this work is inspired by longtime Amway IBO leaders Bill and Peggy Britt. Stay tuned for more on their story, and the ripple effect their generosity has had over the years.

Watch for live updates and photos on Twitter at hashtag #amwayonebyone

Amway Founders Council: The Yager Family

Friday, 10 May, 2013

Next week, 200 of the very top Amway leaders from around the world, called the Amway Founders Council, will meet in West Michigan.

Members of the Yager family will be found among the Founders Council ranks, as they were some of the earliest Amway distributor leaders.

We had a chance to visit them last year in Charlotte, North Carolina, and see their values in action through the second generation of family leadership, in support of Easter Seals. This video tells the story:

City by city, one by one

Monday, 15 April, 2013

Amway is in so many communities, that it’s hard to keep track of all of our activities for children, particularly among Amway Independent Business Owners.

After learning that I would be heading to Boston next week to participate in the Boston College International Corporate Citizenship Conference, I decided to see what Amway people were doing there.

The best story I found came from Amway IBO and Claudia Nardone. She has been a longtime supporter of Easter Seals, an organization that helps people with disabilities to achieve their potential. Her network of Amway IBOs has raised approximately $3 million for Easter Seals over the years.

A couple of years ago, Claudia heard a speech by Easter Seals president Jim Williams that included the fact that $1 in preventative care can save $7 in later services. It made her think of the old proverb: “A stitch in time saves nine.”

Claudia used this spark of an idea to create a Stitch in Time campaign that collected people’s change using specially designed buckets.  The initiative raised more than $100,000 in its first year alone.

Among the programs Claudia supports is Easter Seals Explorers Camp – a camp specifically geared to meet the needs of those on the autism spectrum or with other developmental disabilities.

Explorers Camp is an incredible place, with a high ratio of staff to campers, engaging the services and enthusiasm of a large crew of high school and college-age volunteers. Many of the staff and volunteers are also people with disabilities themselves including some who have autism.

I’m sure there are many other stories in Boston, some of which we will never learn about. It’s good to know that in any part of the world, anywhere Amway does business, there are Amway people finding unique and compelling ways to help children, one by one.

Thanks to Marsha Champion for sharing this story.

North America: Diverse Region, Diverse Partnerships

Monday, 7 January, 2013

Our journey around the world continues as we zoom out to the regional level, extending from Canada to the Caribbean.

In the US, we saw the fruition of a three-year partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America in 2012. Amway Positive Sprouts helps teach city children about nutrition through building edible organic gardens. A new kit developed last year will ensure that the program continues to grow.

We also saw the expansion of a partnership with the US Dream Academy, which mentors children whose parents have been incarcerated. Amway invited some lucky Amway Independent Business Owners to Washington DC to learn more about the cause they were supporting and attend the annual gala.

In 2012, we met Jim and Nancy Dornan in Atlanta, Georgia. The Dornans created Network of Caring to help children around the world, including those in power wheelchairs. They have helped scale up Power Soccer to an international sport, and a meaningful community of caring.

One of the biggest stories of the year was reaching the 30-year partnership milestone with Easter Seals. Started originally by Amway, Independent Business Owners have picked up this partnership and made it their own, raising more than $30 million over the years for people with disabilities, through many creative ways of support.

Our team visited the Yager family in Charlotte, North Carolina, where we saw a longstanding commitment from two generations of Amway IBO leaders in helping children with special needs. Amway and its people continued to participate in fundraising walks around the country. We even partnered with Easter Seals centers on the East Coast to help with relief efforts following Superstorm Sandy.


The Easter Seals partnership does not end at the US borders. Amway and IBOs in Canada regularly rappel down skyscrapers to raise money for the cause. Amway Dominican Republic and Amway Puerto Rico also have established partnerships with Easter Seals affiliates to help children with special needs.

And just recently, the US announced an exciting new partnership that will bring the famous “We Day” to this country for the first time, collaborating with Free the Children.

And so the year in North America ended as it began, with a flurry of opportunities and activities that are making a profound difference in communities around us … one by one.

A story with many plots

Friday, 2 November, 2012

In 2013, Amway will celebrate 30 years of supporting Easter Seals to help children with disabilities - a partnership that predates the Amway One by One Campaign for Children and covers more than half of the history of Amway. How did it grow, and how does it last? There are many stories to unravel to answer the question.


First, consider four-year-old Mia in Charlotte, North Carolina. While she is a happy, energetic girl with a doting brother and caring parents, Mia has developmental disabilities that require special care. The Easter Seals UCP Child Care Center in Charlotte is just what Mia and her family need. It provides therapy programs in the classroom with onsite specialists, while creating a blended environment for children at all development levels, and from all backgrounds. It is a beautiful, happy atmosphere run by caring, professional staff. Yet it is always in need of support to keep it going.


That’s where the next story begins. It’s about Dexter and Birdie Yager, who started an Amway business that would become one of the most successful in the world. The Yagers have reached the Amway Founders Council recognition level, and have passed their Amway business to three of their seven children – Doyle, Steve and Jeff. They also passed on their legacy of support for Easter Seals.


Looking further back for the next story, the Yagers’ involvement with Easter Seals was initially inspired by Amway, which began a new kind of corporate sponsorship in the 1980s, by helping Easter Seals conduct national telethons to raise money for children with disabilities. The Yagers were one of the earliest and longest-lasting champions for Easter Seals. They gave of their own time and money, promoted Easter Seals to their IBO networks, and invited Easter Seals representatives to speak at their large business meetings and events.


The final story continues to be written. Between Amway, the Yagers and other Amway IBOs and employees across the country, more than $30 million has been raised to support Easter Seals over the years, through grassroots fundraising, volunteering at local centers and serving on local Easter Seals boards.

What drives them is the inspiration of children like Mia, who get the support they need to reach their potential.


Coming soon will be a video of Easter Seals, highlighting the work of the Yagers to help children like Mia. Thanks to the Amway North America staff, the Yager Group, and the Easter Seals UCP for sharing this wonderful story with us. To learn more about Easter Seals, visit