Helping Haiti – Make a donation to Amway Haiti Project

Compassion is not just an emotion. It is an action – a sincere effort to relieve the suffering of another.

On Tuesday, January 12, 2010, a 7.0 earthquake threatened to crush the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere – Haiti. Out of a population of 10 million, over 3 million were affected, 1 million were homeless, 300,000 were injured, 230,000 were dead, and over 400 were Amway Indpendent Business Owners.

While most of the world watched teh devastation through the media, Amway and its IBOs were mobilizing to help.

Restoring Personal Dignaty

Having responded to the needs of the people during Hurricane Katrina, Amway had an idea of the supplies that could be gathered and delivered quickly: toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, soap, shampoo, and hand sanitizer wipes. Working with World Vision and International Aid, these kits were delivered by agencies and churches that were already on the ground in Haiti. Amway was able to distribute 10,000 personal hygiene kits to the Haitian people.

Jeff Johnson, National Sales Manager, Amway Canada and the Caribbean, said that the Caribbean IBOs responded immediately to help their Haitian brother and sister IBOs with blood and food donations. Jeff engaged Paulette Cesar, a Haitian-born IBO now living in Florida, to try to contact the displaced IBOs living in the refugee camps. Despite their current conditions, when Paulette connected with them, the IBOs wanted to know what was happening with the business. “That desire is a testament to the spirit of the Haitian IBOs wanting to move on and continue to build their business. They see Amway as an opportunity for a better life even in the midst of the tragedy,” shared Jeff.

Jeff and Paulette were able to connect with many of the IBOs in a conference call, where the IBOs asked questions about the Fast Track Program, shared their dreams for rebuilding their business, and thanked the company for their support.

In another rallying effort to support the Haitian IBO family, a team of Amway operations and sales managers pooled resources from the U.S. and Dominican Republic (DR) warehouses, expedited needed items to the DR warehouse, and found DR employees to assemble additional hygiene kits to deliver specifically to the
Haitian IBOs.

Jeff worked closely with Ruben Familia, General Manager, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. “I was happy to help; these people were left with nothing and we could give them something to feel better about themselves, and that is worth a lot.” Ernesto Fernandez, warehouse lead in the DR, volunteered to drive five hours through the devastated countryside to meet IBOs and deliver the kits. “It is something I will never forget, and I’m very grateful to have done this,” says Ernesto. After a several-hour wait, he met the IBOs at a marketplace. Each area was no more than sticks with a covering to block the sun. People were bartering and trading for items. Grateful IBOs found Ruben and set out to distribute the hygiene kits.

Plans continue to develop to help the Haitian IBOs return to building their businesses. Jeff made sure to set up a way for the IBOs to receive their bonus checks. Ruben shared that “most of the people in Haiti had lost their identity in the earthquake; they are a ‘nobody.’” Amway has taken steps to ensure that every Haitian IBO knows they are somebody, and that they are very important to the company.

Amway will continue to have a presence in Haiti through a partnership with SOS Children’s Villages. You can also help as funds are raised to build a child a home by making a donation to the Amway Haiti Project.

Check out the Haiti House at Achievers.

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