All posts by Unbound

#GivingTuesday
Nov 24 2014

5 ways to celebrate Giving Tuesday as a family

#GivingTuesday

Parents are always seeking ways to teach their kids about giving back. And never more so than around the holidays. In this festive, but often wish-list-centric time of year, we need opportunities to remind ourselves about what it means to be grateful, to cherish what we have and to serve others.

Giving Tuesday is on Dec. 2 this year, and it’s is the perfect time for families to focus on giving back. Here are a few ideas for how your family can participate with Unbound this Giving Tuesday:

1. Sponsor a child

There is no better way to connect your family to another family around the world. Find your sponsored child as a family. Together you’ll witness how just $30 a month can transform someone’s life.

2. Make a donation

As the weather turns bitterly cold in some areas of the U.S., many of us become more mindful of the gift of a warm, comfortable home. Many families in the Unbound program live in homes constructed of metal sheets, mud, cardboard or other found materials. Donating to Homes helps families have safer, sturdier homes.

3. Share Unbound

Lend us your Twitter! Help us reach our goal of 100 supporters for a simultaneous message sent on Dec. 2 through the crowd-speaking platform Thunderclap. You can support Unbound’s Giving Tuesday message through Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr. Visit our Thunderclap page to get involved.

4. Write a letter

If you sponsor someone through Unbound, sit down as a family and write him or her a letter. Your sponsored friend would love to receive a photo of you and a few simple words of encouragement.

5. Do some shopping

Add an item from the Unbound store to your Christmas list or send Unbound Christmas cards to your friends and family. Not only will you get some cool gear and cards, but you also spread awareness of Unbound’s fight against poverty. Better yet, all profits support Education.

Help shed a little light. Join us in celebrating Giving Tuesday.

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World Toilet Day
Nov 19 2014

World Toilet Day: Solving the sanitation crisis

World Toilet Day

This latrine in Uganda afforded no privacy and is no longer usable.

By Elizabeth Alex, community outreach and media relations director for Unbound

The United Nations has designated Wednesday, Nov. 19, as a day to talk about toilets.

At first glance it may seem an odd topic to dwell on for a day. Most people don’t spend a lot of time thinking about toilets.

Unless you happen to be one of the people without access to one.

According to the United Nations, almost 2,000 children die every day from preventable diarrheal diseases.

Keep reading

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Sponsor a child
Nov 17 2014

How you can help Shiva stay in school

Sponsor a child

Shiva, 10, from India

He stands straight and tall for his picture. Looking sharp in a buttoned-up shirt, he sports a shy but hopeful smile.

A sixth-grader in India, Shiva just arrived at the Unbound office from prayer. The white lines on his forehead are called tikka and are part of the Hindu prayer tradition.

Shiva plays cricket, a national pastime in India, he celebrates Diwali, the festival of lights, and he enjoys poetry in his native language, Hindi.

This delightful boy respectfully requests you sponsor him.

Shiva is one of three children supported by their dad, Gopi, who rides a bike selling tea door-to- door in India. Gopi works long days but doesn’t bring home enough income to provide for a family of five.

Shiva has a passion for school. Especially math and science.

“I like playing with magnets,” he said. “I can show you how the North Pole and South Pole attract.”

But the future of Shiva’s education is a stress for his mother, Laxmi.

“Financial problems are haunting us,” she says. “We are struggling with the education expenses.”

With help that a sponsorship brings, Shiva will remain in school. His parents will see some of their financial burden lifted. Shiva can continue to develop his love of learning and reach a goal of improving his English skills.

You can help this bright young boy reach his full potential.

Editor’s note: Since this was posted, Shiva had found a sponsor. Check our website for other children still waiting for sponsors.

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Flocking flamingos
Nov 14 2014

Building homes with the help of pink flamingos

Flocking flamingos

A lawn visited by the Woodmont youth group’s “flocking flamingos.”

You wake up one morning, and as you’re going about your normal routine you glance out at your front lawn. But it looks a bit different than usual. Somehow, a flock of plastic flamingos has made its way to your lawn.

Over the last few months, members of the Woodmont Christian Church in Tennessee have experienced “flockings” courtesy of their youth group. It’s not a prank but one of the fundraising strategies the youth group developed for their “Guats Up” initiative.

Their goal? To build a house in Guatemala for a family that needs one.

Keep reading

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Sponsor a child
Nov 12 2014

Putting Gandhi’s wisdom into action

Martin Kraus

Martin Kraus (second from right), director of finance for Unbound, with his family

By Martin Kraus, director of finance for Unbound

“You must become the change you want to see.”

As I walked through the Mumbai airport in India, I couldn’t help but notice this quote on a huge banner hanging overhead. Most of us, whether from India or not, easily recognize this quote as being from Mahatma Gandhi, one of India’s most influential and respected leaders. What struck me are the many ways in which I am privileged to see Gandhi’s quote being put into action all over the world.

At Unbound, our sponsors take this quote to heart by taking action. Their sponsorship allows them to “become the change” that this world so badly needs, and in doing so, they make significant changes in the worlds of others. Recently, while performing an audit of Unbound’s office in Manila, Philippines, I met two beautiful examples.

Read more

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Voices of Unbound: Madagascar
Nov 7 2014

Setting ego aside to let music in

By Barclay Martin, new channels coordinator for Unbound

It is an outlandish thing to make your living as a singer/songwriter, and one of the lessons it taught me early was that in order to make it, you have to hustle.

You have to release the notion that just because a morning of coffee and scratching in a notebook renders a song the world is compelled to respond. There’s a brawn to art, the idea that beneath the lustrous promise of a new creation there is muscle and metal driving it. With each release, there is a constant chirping in my brain, beckoning people to pay attention for a moment to what I’m doing. It is a daily battle for a sliver of presence in a world more infinitely layered than we could ever know.

Keep reading

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Typhoon Rammasun
Nov 5 2014

Living through a typhoon in the Philippines

In an average year, 20 or more typhoons enter the Philippines. Half of those make landfall. Jane, who is sponsored through Unbound in the Philippines, shares her experiences from category 4 typhoon Rammasun, known locally as Glenda, which hit the Philippines earlier this year. The 17-year-old attends school in the Bicol region of the Philippines, and stays in a boarding house because of the school’s distance from her home.

It was July 15, 2014, when terrible typhoon Glenda hit our place in Bicol Region. The day before the typhoon made landfall, Albay Governor Joey Salceda suspended classes for all levels at 1 o’clock in the afternoon.

I used the remaining hours of the day to prepare my things to go home to my family. But the next morning I wasn’t able to go home because the public transportation to my hometown was canceled due to heavy rains. I decided to go back to the boarding house and stay there with my roommate.

Read more of Jane’s experience

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