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October 02, 2017

Industry with Heart

Natural Disasters: Direct Selling Relief Efforts

In the past month, three natural disasters have struck North America and the Caribbean, killing hundreds of people and causing property damage amounting to billions of dollars. Many people in the direct selling community, particularly those in Texas and Florida, were affected by these horrific events.

In late August, Hurricane Harvey devastated the Houston area, causing catastrophic floods that claimed over 70 lives and displaced hundreds of thousands of people. Nearly 50,000 homes were damaged—1,000 completely destroyed—and approximately 700 businesses were damaged.

In early September, Hurricane Irma roared through the Caribbean, devastating Barbuda, St. Maarten and St. Thomas, before impacting Cuba and then coming ashore as a Category 3 storm in southwestern Florida. Early reports indicate that in the Florida Keys 25 percent of buildings were destroyed and another 65 percent suffered considerable damage. Flooding and downed trees have crippled many areas of the state, and millions of Floridians are without electricity as of today. Over 60 deaths have been reported in the Virgin Islands, Florida and Georgia.

On Sept. 7, an 8.1 magnitude earthquake rocked the southern coast of Mexico, just north of Juchitan. It was the most powerful earthquake to hit the country in a century, felt as far as Mexico City and Guatemala City by an estimated 50 million people. Nearly 100 fatalities have been confirmed.

In addition to these disasters, throughout 2017, wildfires have claimed almost 8 million acres of land, from Georgia to Washington. There are currently 2 million acres aflame—roughly the size of Rhode Island and Delaware combined—across the West and Northwest, including 100 active wildfires and 41 uncontained large blazes. The U.S. Forest Service has spent, to date, more than $1.75 billion fighting wildfires nationwide; in Canada, blazes in British Columbia have set new records, both in acres burned and in costs to contain them.

As the preeminent news source for the direct selling industry, we have been eager to share the powerful stories of direct selling companies coming to the aid of the global community. The generosity of this industry is one of its most admirable aspects—one that, sadly, often goes unnoticed in the business world. We have noted the contributions made by direct sellers through monetary and product donations as well as in fundraising efforts and on-the-ground support below. We acknowledge the efforts of these companies and their continuing support of such critical organizations as the American Red Cross, Salvation Army and United Way. 

AdvoCare
“Our thoughts are with those impacted by Hurricane Harvey this morning as they assess overnight damage and continue to battle flooding, fires and tornados throughout the weekend and into next week. Through our partnership with American Red Cross and Red Cross DFW disaster relief program, we are donating $50,000 and matching dollar for dollar raised through our AdvoCare Red Cross portal up to an additional $50,000. Help us help the Red Cross support all those impacted by this devastating storm.”
 
Ambit Energy 
To support relief efforts on the Texas Gulf Coast, Ambit Energy will contribute $25,000 to the American Red Cross.

Amway
As told to DSN, “Like many others, we have watched closely as Hurricane Harvey has wreaked havoc on the southern Gulf coast of the United States. Our thoughts go out to those impacted by the storm, including the approximately 13,000 Amway distributors who live in the affected region. To assist in the hurricane relief efforts, Amway has donated $100,000 to the American Red Cross. In addition, we are matching Amway employee and distributor donations, dollar for dollar, up to $100,000 and providing in-kind support to impacted Amway distributors and others benefiting from regional non-profit partner organizations. We hope this donation will help the great residents of the southern Gulf coast as they deal with the lingering effects of the storm and the recovery to follow. We also are closely monitoring Hurricane Irma for potential impacts, in order to determine support for impacted distributors and communities in that region, as well.”

Arbonne
“Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the people of Texas and all affected in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. Hearing about and seeing the posts on social media about how our community of Independent Consultants are aiding relief efforts and personally taking in those affected by the disaster reminds me again of what a special, unique and virtual community Arbonne represents. Arbonne is pulling together essential items we know would be the most helpful during this difficult time, including protein shakes and a variety of personal care products. We have coordinated with a local Houston area non-profit organization that is aiding in the relief efforts for immediate distribution to those in need.” — Arbonne CEO, Kay Zanotti

ARIIX
“The ARIIX Foundation for Human Potential is partnering with the American Red Cross to help bring much-needed relief to the area. The need is very real and we have made it easy to donate to those affected by Hurricane Harvey.”

Avon
“Share your love and support to Hurricane Harvey victims with our $10 Avon Hurricane Relief Package that will help fund an assortment of critical personal care products and housewares items that Avon will transport to area shelters on your behalf.”

Forever Living
“Over the last few days, we’ve received a great number of inquiries about how you can help the people of Houston and Southeast Texas following the devastating Hurricane Harvey. We are excited to announce that our friends over at Forever Giving are partnering with Rise Against Hunger, once again, and there are tens of thousands of meals and Forever Living Products personal care products heading to those in need in the coming few days.”

Herbalife
“On Sunday Hurricane Harvey, now a tropical storm, shook the Texas coast with torrential rains causing catastrophic floods, according to the National Hurricane Center. Entire communities are facing devastation. Thousands of children and families are in shelters because their homes, cars and personal belongings are completely submerged in the rapidly rising waters. The Herbalife Family Foundation is partnering with the American Red Cross to raise funds that will provide warm meals, shelter, clean water, clothes and hygiene kits to those affected by this disaster. The Red Cross emergency relief efforts have already mobilized volunteers and brought supplies and shelter to many victims. But we need your help! Donate today to help those affected by these devastating floods.”

Isagenix
“Isagenix extends our deepest sympathies and heartfelt prayers in this time of heartache and devastation. In the wake of so much damage and destruction, we want to do our part to help alleviate the hardship of those who have been impacted by this devastating storm. Already, thousands of our valued customers and team members have been impacted in some way by this disaster. As they begin the healing process, they need to focus on what matters most. To that end, we have taken steps to ensure that if they are actively building an Isagenix business, they are not negatively impacted by this disaster. To assist with relief efforts on a broader scale, we have partnered with local food banks to donate nearly 173,000 non-perishable IsaLean meal replacement bars for distribution throughout the greater Houston area. We are honored and humbled to provide much needed nutrition for those who are suffering from the impact of this devastation. We are also making a monetary donation to the American Red Cross and are asking the extended Isagenix family to consider providing support as well. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone impacted.”

It Works!
“Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone in Houston and the Southeast as they continue to experience Hurricane Harvey. The It Works Gives Back Foundation works with non-profit partners to get boots on the ground in Texas and other cities around the US to offer natural disaster relief. Your It Works! Family is here to support you!”

Kyäni
Founder Carl Taylor, CMO Andrew Mangeris, and Vice President of North America Skyleur Steffensen traveled to Texas and gathered other distributors to help contribute and clean up. Kyäni’s founders also matched donations from all distributors. The Kyäni Caring Hands program sent to Texas a Convoy of Hope with more than 600,000 meals to be distributed to Hurricane victims.

Le-Vel
Le-Vel has partnered with AmeriCares.org, a foundation recognized for effectively getting relief and critical care to people in need in crisis situations. From August 30–September 6, 2017, the company took donations that will be furnished to AmeriCares.org. For every donation received, Le-Vel donated triple the amount to AmeriCares (for a donation $10, Le-Vel added $20, for a total donation of $30 to AmeriCares) up to a total matching contribution of $250,000.

Mannatach
“A MESSAGE FROM THE M5M FOUNDATION: We are proud to partner with Convoy of Hope to deliver nutrition around the world. Today, in the midst of the disaster of Hurricane Harvey we are thankful they are serving and bringing relief to our Texas families!”

Mary Kay
“To all who are impacted by the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey, our hearts are with you. We are working with our disaster relief partners to identify ways we can provide assistance to all those affected. If you are interested in making a personal donation, please consider the Red Cross and Salvation Army.”

Medifast/OPTAVIA
“Over the past few days, we have witnessed the very unfortunate events in the Houston area caused by Tropical Storm Harvey that has, and continues to, devastate many lives. Many of our OPTAVIA Coaches™ and Clients have also been impacted, and we appreciate all of you who have contacted us voicing your desire to help. We have come together as one OPTAVIA Community to help support those in need. A special fundraising effort was put together by our Field leadership through www.youcaring.com where you can contribute to the relief efforts. From our end, the company will also be donating a matching contribution up to $20,000. All the funds will be given to a very reputable charity, All Hands Volunteers. This organization has been vetted, and we are pleased to let you know that they are one of the highest rated among nonprofits when it comes to tangible impact and the percent of funds that are directly used for relief efforts in affected areas. One hundred percent of the funds raised here (and 100% of the corporate match) will go to All Hands Volunteers to support their relief efforts in the affected areas.”

Melaleuca
Melaleuca held a community food drive on August 31 with the intention of filling an entire semi-truck full of items. Two drivers left Idaho Falls last night to drive the 1,500 miles straight to the Houston area where donations will be dropped off at evacuation centers. The American Red Cross has already requested a large amount of snack bars and sunscreen from Melaleuca that will be delivered to 9,000 people waiting in the Houston Convention Center.

Nature’s Sunshine
“Nature’s Sunshine will donate 10% of NSP US profits on sales from now through September 10th to organizations working toward providing relief for the victims of this historic storm. In order to maximize the impact we can have, please share this information with 10 of your friends, family members, or associates. God bless the people of Texas and Louisiana as they work hard to recover and rebuild. Thank you very much for your support.”

Nu Skin
Nu Skin is accepting donations through its Nu Skin Force for Good Foundation, which Nu Skin will match dollar for dollar up to $100,000 to aid in the rebuilding process. In addition, the company has sent staff to the Houston area to help with cleanup efforts, and is working closely with relief agencies in the affected areas, offering a Relief Hygiene Kit (toothpaste, toothbrush, hand sanitizer and soap which Nu Skin will match 1 for 1) and VitaMeal donations (which Nu Skin will match 1 for 1). 

pawTree
pawTree has worked in connection with the American Pet Products Association, Pet Leadership Council, the City of Houston, the City of Dallas, and the Texas Retailers Association to provide assistance in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. They anticipate having about 3,000–5,000 pets in shelters due to Harvey. pawTree’s donation of pet food will be enough to feed approximately 5,000 dogs and cats for two weeks. Half will be distributed in Dallas, where rescued animals are being routed, and half in Houston. pawTree Founder & CEO, Roger Morgan, said, “We are honored to help and are very saddened for the loss and disruption this has caused so many families. Our company mission is to make a difference in the lives of pets and their people, and we know this will make a valuable difference in this time of need.” In addition, the company has an ongoing campaign where pawTree reps, petPros, and customers can help those in need. For every new petPro and every new customer who joins through October, pawTree is donating enough food to feed one pet for an entire month. Donations will be sent to help those in Montana, Texas and Florida.

Plexus Worldwide
“At this time, we offer our collective prayers of courage and strength to all those working though this devastation. Our Texas and Louisiana roots run deep—more than 100,000 Plexus® Ambassadors and their families call the area home. Our biggest concern is for the safety and well-being of those Ambassadors and our customers, as well as their families and communities. Please join us in sending our thoughts and prayers to those affected. Our hope is that relief and recovery from the storm come quickly. To that end, we’ve donated $100,000 to the Salvation Army’s Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund. And, in the spirit of One Plexus, we’ll match any donation you make up to another $100,000. We realize this is a small step toward the massive relief efforts needed in the months and years to come. It’s those collective small contributions of every individual that makes the Plexus family so special—we care for each other and we stand together.” — Tarl Robinson, Plexus Worldwide® CEO

Primerica 
“Our hearts go out to the hundreds of thousands of people affected by Hurricane Harvey. To support the relief efforts in these areas, The Primerica Foundation is giving $25,000 to our long-time community partner, the American Red Cross. If you would like to join us in supporting the efforts of the trained disaster relief personnel and volunteers on the ground, you can make a donation using the link to the Red Cross for Hurricane Harvey. Please keep all of the folks affected by this disaster in your thoughts and prayers.” – Primerica CEO Glenn Williams

Princess House
“Our thoughts and prayers are with our many Organizers, Consultants, and friends whose lives have been disrupted by Hurricane Harvey and the subsequent flooding in Texas and Louisiana. And we’re committed to help. Today Princess House is donating $15,000 to the American Red Cross, specifically to go toward the Hurricane Harvey relief effort and our owners Ray and Michael Chambers, through their family foundation, are matching our donation for a total of $30,000.”

Stella & Dot
“Join us in helping Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. On your behalf Stella & Dot Family brands has donated $25,000 to the Red Cross. But there is more we can do together.”

Stream
Stream Cares is donating $25,000 to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.

Team Beachbody
“In an effort to support the communities affected by Hurricane Harvey, the Beachbody Foundation will donate $1 every time you stream A Week of Hard Labor. Press play on any AWOHL workout between Tuesday, September 5th and Sunday, September 10th to generate up to $100,000 for the American Red Cross Hurricane Harvey Disaster Relief Fund.”

Team National
“Praying for everyday heroes, people helping people with Harvey Relief Efforts. Kindness matters. The month of Sept all TN Hope monies collected will be donated to charitable organizations focused on Harvey Relief. Thanks for providing hope & contributing to the butterfly effect.”

Thirty-One Gifts
Thirty-One Gifts has been helping victims of Harvey and Irma Texas as well as providing relief efforts in the western U.S. and Canada for wildfire victims. The company has sent thousands of Hope Kits—travel accessory bags filled with hygiene products for women—to both regions. At its national conference in July, senior consultants assembled 2,500 bags and those have been sent, along with thousands more, to Texas and Florida. Thirty-One also supporting the Salvation Army through cash donations. On September 15 the company announced it had organized Round Up for Relief, in which Thirty-One will support the Salvation Army’s disaster relief efforts in both the U.S. and Canada from September 15 to September 30. 

Total Life Changes
The company is teaming with the American Red Cross. “The victims of Hurricane Harvey are in need of many essentials like infant formula, diapers, water and of course food. A small donation will have a great impact on helping these families through this catastrophe.”

Tupperware
Tupperware is donating 40 percent of the product purchase price to UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief). The fundraising effort began August 27 and will run for two weeks.  

USANA
In an effort to aid those affected by the wide-spread devastation of Hurricane Harvey, the USANA True Health Foundation (THF), has donated $130,000. This amount will be used for food, nutrition and other aid through THF’s long-time partners, the Children’s Hunger Fund and International Relief Teams, as well as Houston-based officials who will assist in distribution. “Through the generosity of our Associates and other donors, the True Health Foundation will be able to distribute 27 pallets of food equaling over 15,000 meals,” said USANA CEO Kevin Guest. “While disasters of this magnitude are sobering, we are grateful to have the ability and means available to assist and provide support where it is so desperately needed.”  

WorldVentures
In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, 1.5 million children live in counties where disaster has been declared; 40 percent of people in shelters are children. WorldVentures has started a campaign to raise money for the children affected by Hurricane Harvey. Donations will be used to support Save the Children in their efforts to provide relief services focusing on children, including delivering relief supplies, setting up child-friendly play spaces and providing specially trained staff to help children cope with emotions.

Youngevity
“So that we may provide as much support as possible for the Relief Workers on the ground in both Texas and Louisiana – #Youngevity will now be offering ALL of its #BeTheChange Products for this entire week on Double QV! Profits from these proceeds will be used immediately for those who are on the ground saving lives.”

Young Living
Two days before Hurricane Harvey, Typhoon Hato hit southern China and swept through Hong Kong, Macau and parts of Taiwan. The Young Living Foundation will offer aid to victims of both disasters, matching the first $50,000 raised.

Zurvita
“Zurvita and Zurvita Ministries stands in support of our community, Consultants, and employees that have been affected by Hurricane/ Tropical Storm Harvey and the catastrophic damage and flooding in the Houston area and all along the Texas Gulf Coast. Your gift will be routed through Zurvita Ministries and be used to support the members of the Texas Gulf Coast community that have been impacted and are in need.”

We continue to update our coverage and share the industry’s outpouring of love, support and aid to those affected by these natural disasters. If you do not see your company mentioned, please send your updates to editor@directsellingnews.com with Disaster Relief in the subject line.