Posts tagged with “Founders Council”

Travel with us to South Africa

Monday, 24 March, 2014

Late last year, we introduced you to the Tutudesk Foundation, which provides innovative desk solutions for schools in South Africa.

The video below takes you on our journey to a small school in Queenstown, where children are learning about their value through a simple – but effective - gift.

Click here to watch the video on YouTube. Thanks to Karin Schmid for coordinating this partnership, and to Anja Schwarz and the Schwarz organization for their leadership in raising funds from Amway Business Owners across Europe.

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.

What’s a Tutudesk?

Thursday, 7 November, 2013

Last week we participated in the delivery of 1,500 portable lap desks to students in Queenstown, South Africa. Amway Business Owner leader Anja Schwarz joined us, on behalf of ABOs across Europe and Africa who have been raising funds and awareness about this program for the last couple of years.

These portable desks are called Tutudesks in honor of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who lent his name and his story to help meet the needs of the crowded classrooms and homes of children in South Africa, and across the continent.

The Tutudesk Campaign aims to deliver 20 million desks by 2020, and has already distributed 2 million through partnerships with Amway and others.

The desks are given to each student. They include a list of Child’s Rights, a child hotline telephone number, the alphabet and times table.

When you join a Tutudesk delivery, it’s an entire experience. Jacob Ramaru, who grew up in Soweto and knows the challenges learners face, turned the event into an empowerment session for children and the entire community. He works for the Tutudesk campaign, and travels from school to school, spreading hope and setting high expectations for the dreams of the students.

We were joined by local mothers, government and school officials, and even a police escort. Thandeka Tutu-Gxashe spoke to learners on behalf of Archbishop Tutu, her father, emphasizing the value in each student, challenging them to “Reach for the moon. If you fall, you fall among the stars.”

It’s a special initiative to be part of, where you can truly see change happening, one by one.

Thanks to Karin Schmid, Sharon Apollis and all of our many partners who have made this program successful.

From the road: South Africa

Wednesday, 6 November, 2013

We spent last week in the air, on the road and in the schools, traveling to Queenstown, South Africa to visit a project supported by Amway Business Owners across Europe and Africa.

In fact, we traveled with Anja Schwarz, who represents one of the top Founders Council organizations in the world, based in Europe. This is part of a larger initiative we’ve been working on over the past few years to scale up the work of some of our highest-achieving leaders.

Anja and her father, Max Schwarz, have been involved in a number of Amway One by One projects over the years. Most recently, she helped out in a national volunteer project to support families at Ronald McDonald Houses, where parents stay when their children are in the hospital.

Anja was also part of an Amway-UNICEF delegation that visited Kenya in 2007 to monitor healthcare programs that immunized 90,000 children through the support of Amway Business Owners. And when Anja’s mother passed away in 1997, she and Max also started the Marianne Schwarz Foundation to help other families across Europe that are battling leukemia.

It is inspiring to see the next generation of our leaders setting the example of generosity and caring, that extends beyond borders and beyond continents.

Tomorrow’s blog post will introduce the Tutudesk program that provides lap desks for students - an amazing story in itself. But first, here are some images from the trip.

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.

A roundup of leader stories

Tuesday, 11 June, 2013

The last story in our leadership series on this blog is a roundup of activities from some of our top leaders that we have not yet visited.

While their stories are no less compelling, we have not captured them in photos and videos … yet.

Foo Howe Kean was recognized for reaching an impressive Founders Council milestone this year. Perhaps even more impressive, he continues to quietly give to a number of organizations, including those that help children in Taiwan and China.

Kauro Nakajima is a longtime supporter of the visually impaired in Japan. He supports Seeing Eye dogs to help out children and adults, and he recently partnered with Amway to sponsor a program that trains a “therapy dog” to help out in hospitals.

Bill and Peggy Britt from the United States have been longtime supporters of Easter Seals. Bill Britt passed away this year, but his legacy of generosity continues through Peggy and top leaders of the Britt organization, who continue support, from fundraising walks to black tie galas.

After Max Schwarz’s wife passed away from cancer, he and his daughter, Anja Schwarz, started a foundation to help children with cancer in their home country of Germany and across Europe. Anja has also been a longtime supporter of UNICEF.

Sunny & Debra Hsu from Taiwan are actively supporting children’s causes, both through programs led by Amway, and programs they find on their own. From helping youth with enrichment classes to supporting the launch of the Amway Hope Maker Foundation, Sunny & Debra are leaders in generosity.

We hope to profile more of these leaders’ stories this year and beyond. We’re also building an online storytelling portal at Check it out!

Leaders in China helping migrant families

Thursday, 6 June, 2013

In December, we visited two programs in China: a nutrition program in a remote village, and an education program in the heart of Beijing.

Both programs are focused on helping children of migrant families who struggle to make a living as they move from farms to urban areas to find work. Both programs were established by the Amway Charity Foundation, and have great support from our top leaders from around the country.

This video documents the stories we found, and the impact that meals and books are having on the future generations of China.

The Guiterrez family goes home

Friday, 31 May, 2013

For the last few years, new houses have been popping up around Latin America, built by Amway volunteers and given to families in need.

One week ago today, a home for the Gutierrez family went up in Colombia, constructed by the hands of Amway Business Owners, Habitat for Humanity employees and volunteers from the police department.

While the Guiterrez family previously lived in a one-room house made of cardboard and discarded materials, today they have a permanent cement home with a kitchen, living room, bathroom and separate bedrooms.

This partnership was sparked by Amway Founders Council member Tim Foley, who introduced Amway to Habitat for Humanity.

This video tells the story of how things got started.

Thanks to Nancy Cortez for sharing this update.

A Growing Network of Caring

Tuesday, 28 May, 2013

Last year, we introduced you to Jim and Nancy Dornan, and their son Eric. They’ve helped to make Power Soccer an opportunity and an inspiration for hundreds of people in power wheelchairs.

But that’s not the only thing they do.

They built Network of Caring, an organization that supports many projects for children around the world, led by Amway Independent Business Owners (IBOs). We recently received an update on their latest projects.

The Special Olympics Asia Pacific Games are coming to Australia next December, and Network of Caring is already there with a $100,000 sponsorship, led by local IBOs who will help provide medals to the athletes.

The woman in this photo, taken in South Africa, was helped out of a wheelbarrow and into a new wheelchair through Free Wheelchair Mission, one of nearly 5,000 provided by Network of Caring. This month, they shipped another 550 to Odessa, Ukraine for people in the Kiev area.

Finally, Network of Caring was established in a new country. After years of working in India with the Karuna Sharan Orphans Home and Ambassador High School as well as sponsoring children through World Vision, Network of Caring will finally exist as an officially organized indigenous charity in India.

The Power Soccer story was just one of many examples of how Amway people are identifying the greatest needs for children, and responding with generosity and creativity.

Thanks to Jim and Nancy Dornan, who set a vision and lead by example.

What are the elements of leadership?

Thursday, 23 May, 2013

Last week, our top leaders from around the world met for the Amway Founders Council near Amway headquarters.

What made these 200 leaders – representing multiple countries, languages and cultures – successful in their Amway business?

A few of them from the US, Russia, Taiwan and Australia, spoke at an employee meeting about this topic. They talked about working hard. They talked about Amway’s great products and a great reward system through the Amway business opportunity.

But they also talked about some things that are intangible. They said you can’t be successful in the Amway business unless you are making others successful, “adopting the dreams of others.” They talked about the Amway values of helping others less fortunate and finding causes to pour your heart into.

We showed this video at the Founders Council to remind our leaders of how their many little actions add up to a big global impact, and how their leadership inspires thousands around the world.