Posts tagged with “Grand Rapids”

Be Great!

Tuesday, 17 September, 2013

Last week, our local Boys & Girls Clubs held their annual Be Great Gala and celebrated 75 years of helping youth in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

We were excited to be honored with a Be Great Business Award in honor of our longstanding partnership with the organization, our employee volunteer participation, and the leadership Amway executives have shown in board service and event hosting.

Candace Matthews, Amway Chief Marketing Officer, accepted the award and told the story of Carl and Edith Rehnborg, founders of Nutrilite, who founded the first Boys & Girls Club in Buena Park, California, where Amway and local employees still give their time and resources today.

But it’s not our legacy of leadership that makes this anniversary a special occasion. It’s the legacy of young leaders who have passed through the doors of Clubs in Grand Rapids and around the country, and have overcome challenges to reach their potential, and just be great!

Thanks to Lisa Hunter, Amway executive and Boys & Girls Club board member, for sharing this story.

Playground #15

Wednesday, 26 June, 2013

Amway employees at our West Michigan headquarters recently contructed our 15th playground in partnership with KaBoom!

This timelapse video shows how much good can happen in a single day.

It starts at home: Ada, Michigan, USA

Friday, 4 January, 2013

Our journey through the year starts in Ada, Michigan, in the United States. That’s where Amway world headquarters is located, very near the Greater Grand Rapids community where we do a lot of our volunteer work.


In 2012, we spent a lot of time enhancing the education of children, particularly those from low-income neighborhoods where schools are often under-resourced, adding two new schools as partners.

Employees served as pen pals to improve literacy skills, mentors to provide weekly one-on-one tutoring and Christmas celebrations to ensure students had family gifts for the holidays.

Our team deepened our focus on high school students, launching the first Amway Youth Career Summit at our headquarters, and sponsoring a Beautiful U summit to build self-esteem in young girls. As in previous years, we provided job shadowing, group mentoring and speakers for our public schools.

After studying, kids need to play too. Amway employees helped build a playground with local community members, organized games for the Special Olympics, and hosted parties at the local children’s hospital – even bringing Miss America along for one memorable visit.

That’s not all that happened in 2012. There were department volunteer days, meal packing, fundraisers, nonprofit board service and much more. We were even recognized by the State Governor for these efforts.

They say charity starts at home, and it’s not altogether surprising to see Amway One by One activities happening around the world, when you see the groundswell of generosity and passion happening right where Amway begins.

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.

Thinking differently about people with differences

Wednesday, 13 June, 2012

Guest blogger Shelia Burks shares her experience with a recent volunteer project for Special Olympics.

My first experience with a special needs person was right in my own back yard. My cousin Angelo had Downs Syndrome. He was just a regular person to me. I learned sign language to talk to him so we could communicate better. And we did.

Angelo passed away, but he left this place in me that caused me to befriend the “different” kids at school. To stop the bullies from pushing them around, I’d walk to classes with them. I recruited a few of my other friends and we became a kind of army.

While I have always held a special place in my heart for individuals with special needs, I never volunteered for Special Olympics. After my first experience at the Special Olympics, my life will simply never be the same.

I volunteered to help the swimmers. Watching these children and young adults was life-rewarding. They choose to compete when the world says you’re different.

The first moment that I found myself on my feet cheering was for the young lady who was wheeled out to the pool. She had one arm that was mobile and no leg mobility. She finished last, but she finished.

I watched a young man do the 400 (that’s 8 laps in the pool!!) and beat his personal record time, even though he came in last place.

I had several epiphanies.  First, maybe they are not the ones with “challenges.” Maybe we as “normal” individuals are. How often do we, who have few challenges, give up? How often do we not even try?  We throw in the towel.

We get complacent….but not them.  They took their challenges and made them work for them, and they FINISHED.

I saw athletes come in last and the crowd cheered them on and when they finished they were proud of themselves. I recalled the Bible scripture that says that the race is not given to the swift or the strong but to the one who ENDURES.

You can’t endure if you don’t start, so what do you need to start today?  What do you need to pick back up to finish? The crowd – your close circle – will cheer you on. Endure!

“Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

– Special Olympics Athlete’s Oath

Immersion for Youth at Amway Headquarters

Wednesday, 25 April, 2012

The first Amway Youth Career Summit brought 110 aspiring high school freshmen to our World Headquarters for a day of experiential learning.

Hailing from three West Michigan high schools – Cedar Springs Tech 21 Academy, Grand Rapids University Prep Academy, Ottawa Hills School of Business Leadership and Entrepreneurship – these academics got a crash course in topics ranging from professional etiquette to sustainable business practices.

Students were randomly placed into 14 groups and embarked on a journey through our Ada, Michigan campus. They took DISC personality assessments, participated in a scavenger hunt at the Amway Welcome Center, toured our manufacturing plants and witnessed R&D demonstrations.


During lunch hosted by Amway employees, students took in a dynamic presentation from entrepreneur and Amway founding family member Rick DeVos, who spoke about his work and life experiences as creator of the wildly successful Art Prize and 5×5 community events.


The students finally departed, a little exhausted, but full of new ideas and dreams of their futures.


Thanks to Angela Nelson for sharing this story.

What if Miss America knocked on your door?

Tuesday, 17 April, 2012

The newly crowned Miss America, Laura Kaeppeler from Wisconsin, recently visited the hometown of Amway headquarters – and her time was well spent.

In addition to meeting with Amway leaders who sponsored her scholarship through the Miss America contest, and who would be working with her over the next year during her role as Amway spokeswoman, Laura took the time to visit some Amway One by One partners in the Grand Rapids area – some who were very surprised to see her.

Laura helped to celebrate National Reading Month, reading to children at the Steil Boys & Girls Club in Grand Rapids and young patients at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.

She also surprised two local families served by Urban Family Ministries with spring break “staycations” gift packages of activities to do around Grand Rapids.

Thanks to Marsha Champion for sharing this story.

Recognizing the beauty inside you

Wednesday, 29 February, 2012

In a society where girls are bombarded with varying images of “beauty,” they are often left wondering if they are pretty enough, smart enough, or good enough.

We wanted to remind girls in West Michigan that they are beautiful – inside and out.

So on the eve of Valentine’s Day, 114 junior high school girls from 7 schools took over the campus of Ferris State University Grand Rapids to participate in a day-long “Beautiful U” event.

This event is in its second year, through a partnership between the Amway One by One campaign and WOOD TV 8’s Maranda.







The girls participating heard inspiring speeches, while taking part in activity-based workshops on health, beauty, relationships and careers. They also spent time learning about the difference between the images they see in the media, and the beauty inside of themselves.







In the words of one of the participants:

“Before I came here I thought really badly about myself.  I use to think I was fat and ugly. Now that I came here I don’t feel that way any more. I’m beautiful on the inside and people like me for me, and not someone I’m not!”

Thanks to all of our partners for making this another great year for some beautiful girls.