Jan 3 2014

Unbound has always been part of who we are

By Scott Wasserman, president and chief executive officer

The start of the new year marked an important milestone in our organization’s history as we began a new chapter as Unbound.

I feel blessed to be part of it.

My family and I joined Christian Foundation for Children and Aging 25 years ago when we sponsored our first child. My own journey has included 15 years on CFCA’s governing board, with 14 years serving as board chair.

I became president and chief executive officer last month after the unexpected passing in October of our beloved president and co-founder, Bob Hentzen.

I remember how excited Bob was about the name Unbound and the promise it holds. It’s a beautiful and memorable expression of our work.

While the name is new, what Unbound represents has always been part of our organization. We walk side by side with God’s people as they strive to be free from poverty.

What we do hasn’t changed in any way. Our mission continues to flow from tenets of Catholic social teaching, especially the option for the poor and the essential dignity of every human person.

We’ll continue to connect people across cultural, religious and economic divides to live in solidarity with each other.

Scott Wasserman

Unbound’s president and CEO, Scott Wasserman.

We’ll continue to work with people of diverse faiths to promote peace and unity in our world.

And we’ll continue to be true to our founders’ vision.

In the spirit of our founders, we’ll continue to innovate in our methods as we work with families overseas and invite people of goodwill here at home to join our movement.

CFCA is our foundation. Our future is Unbound.

Let’s go forth in faith and confidence, honoring all that has gone before and joyfully anticipating all that’s to come.

I wish you peace and happiness in the new year.

32 thoughts on “Unbound has always been part of who we are”

  1. We are a young family that has been sponsoring since 2008. We had felt so good about our giving. And we will continue to give, because we are committed to the child we sponsor. However, our fears have been confirmed. This organization no longer appears to be distinctly Catholic. There is little to no faith element left. Why haven’t you learned from the Catholic Church in America and Protestant churches. The more they’ve distanced themselves from distinctly Catholic and classic Christian beliefs, the more their memorship dropped. Everyone SAYS they love a more open seeming approach, but distancing yourself from what made you unique and attractively distinct from the culture as a whole is a bad idea. We feel morally convicted to not sponsor additional children through Unbound. Again, we are committed to our current sponsor, but we’d always imagined as our family grew we’d be able to support more. Now we are investigating Cross Catholic Outreach and similar organizations that are PROUD of their Catholic identity. They realize it in no way hinders their service to the poor, but bring Jesus to the table. Please. We are in our early 30’s. We know so many young Catholics and this is NOT attractive. Please reconsider. I know this is 2 years later, but I wanted to give you a chance to prove my fears wrong.

  2. I have to echo the concerns above about the name “Unbound”. In addition to that, since the name change I have read through the letters, newsletters and other publications that have come to us as sponsors. There is no reference to Christ, the Catholic Church or the Christian faith at all. It reads like a typical N.G.O. I am very disappointed.

  3. After reading the spring 2014 special edition, my concerns regarding the name change and ‘mission’ have been verified. No mention of the CROSS, PRAYER or JESUS is mentioned anywhere within any of the 27 pages. A definite apostasy from my view. I will be cancelling my support of this temporal, secular, organization and spend my money on true Catholic charities that are not afraid to speak out with the truth. Perfect example of liberation theology running rampant today. True Catholic? I would suggest reading Jesus of Nazareth by Joseph Ratzinger, he presents a wonderfully inspiring defense against ‘turn these stones to bread’.

    1. Thank you, Dan, for all of your care and concern. We’re sorry to hear that you’ve decided to end your relationship with your sponsored friend. We will continue benefits to Rumaldo as we seek another sponsor to provide encouragement and support to him. Unbound was founded on the Gospel call to serve the poor. We will continue our mission and continue to offer people an opportunity to be a messenger of love to God’s marginalized people through sponsorship. Thankfully, Christina, Sponsor Services

  4. Can you see that very few are buying that “liberating power of the Gospel” line? When you go from “Christian” to “Unbound” it is apparent to all whom you are declaring yourself unbound from. This ministry was founded in Christ and we all signed on in his name. It is His work, not yours. We expected that we were sending the love of Christ to our sponsored friends, not just money. The name of Jesus Christ is now glaringly absent from more than the name of the organization but also from your mission statement and your entire website.
    People around the world are saying “They are not Christian anymore, they are Unbound from all that” and “See, they are ashamed of Christ”. Do you actually think you will gain more from appeasing the Church’s enemies than you will lose by disavowing the name of Christ?

    1. Thank you, Mark, for the care and concern you have shown. Our organization was founded on the Gospel call to serve the poor, and it is that same call that we continue to follow. Though our name has changed, our core values and mission remain the same. God bless, Christina, Sponsor Services

  5. I’ve been a sponsor since 2008 and will continue to sponsor. I didn’t like the new name at first, but after a lot of careful consideration… I still hate it. As Rosemary said, if you have to keep explaining what Unbound means, it probably isn’t a good fit. Maybe you could add part of the verse from Luke that you reference to your logo or to outgoing mail? The Bible verse would make it a little more clear that you’re still a faith-based organization.

    1. Thank you for your comment, Mary. Based on our research with current and prospective sponsors, we believe our name will help us tell the story of our work and invite more people of good will to join us. In choosing “Unbound,” we deliberately sought a name that is easy to remember, stirs people’s imaginations and reflects the liberating power of the Gospel. Many other faith-based organizations have names that might not be considered explicitly “Christian.” Like us, these organizations chose names that reflect particular aspects of the Gospel and the call to serve. We do want to reach out beyond the Church, but we are in no way trying to distance ourselves from of our Catholic heritage and values. Unbound captures the attention of any person of good will while still being true to the call of the Gospel and the legacy of our founders.


      Christina, Sponsor Services

  6. My wife and I have been dedicated sponsors since 2004. After reading the above responses, it seems to me that you should have done some groundwork with the sponsors to make sure this was going to go over with everyone. I am concerned that you will loose sponsors because of this change, and, I am concerned that it will be more difficult to obtain sponsors through the Catholic Church. Hopefully, I will be wrong with my concerns. With that said, do not be afraid to change back to CFCA or with something that actually sounds like what you are doing.

    1. Robert, thank you to you and your wife for your many years as sponsors. We appreciate your concerns and want to reassure you that we conducted extensive research that included both sponsors and prospective sponsors before deciding to update our name and logo. We’ve found the overall response so far to be extremely positive. We’ve had relatively few sponsors decide to discontinue their support because of our name change. It’s our hope that the updated name and logo will allow us to reach even more sponsors with our story and help more of those in need. Thank you for your continued support.

      Christina, Sponsor Services

  7. The justification shared so far for the name change is really quite weak. If that is the best you can offer without a phone call to the office I am disappointed. If the term has biblical roots, then make that the tag line below the logo. You just made it much harder for me to recruit new sponsors for the exact reasons shared by others above. It sounds like the name of a boy band or a youth group. Don’t worry, the deposits will continue.

    1. David, thank you for sharing your concerns with us. Based on our research with current and prospective sponsors, we believe our name will help us tell the story of our work and invite more people of goodwill to join us. The name Unbound has many scriptural connections that can be shared with prospective sponsors. One example is the hope expressed by the Prophet Isaiah, as shared by Jesus in Luke’s Gospel: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed. …” We appreciate your continued support, and especially your efforts to invite others into the life-giving relationships of sponsorship.

      Christina, Sponsor Services

  8. I read the news of “Unbound” with some hesitation, and must say that, after giving it some thought, I have to agree with those fellow-sponsors who have already posted those concerns. My sponsorship began years ago when a CFCA representative spoke at Mass, and I chose a child’s folder and started immediately– with confidence in the Christ-centered Catholic mission of CFCA. While I understand your liking of the word ‘unbound,’ it does not express any identity. While the new logo has an appealing design, it also looks generic. Won’t you consider incorporating a symbolic cross into it?
    We should be outspoken about our Catholicism, just like Pope Francis. CFCA has always ‘taken it to the streets’ but the Unbound name and logo seems to hide it.

    1. Lisa, we appreciate your thoughts and your years as a sponsor. We would like to assure you that Unbound will continue to be a faith-based organization with strong and specific ties to the Catholic faith, and open to all faiths as we have been in the past. We believe our name tells a story of our work to help people be free from poverty. Our new logo does contain a cross as well as footsteps and other symbols. You can read more about the symbolism of the logo here. We hope this helps give a little more information about what we see in our name and logo. Thank you for your continued support.

      Christina, Sponsor Services

      1. Won’t you, at the very least, please color-in the “cross” portions of the new logo so that very important faith symbol boldly stands out…”a picture is worth a thousand words” thus, making that cross image very clear will certainly help convey the CFCA message.
        Thank you in advance for giving my suggestion serious consideration.
        Respectfully & Hopefully,

        1. Dear Lisa, thank you for your suggestion. Much thought and consideration went into the design of our new logo, which includes a cross made up of diverse peoples and other symbolism. We have noted your comment, and we certainly appreciate your thought and creativity in your suggestion.
          Christina, Sponsor Services

  9. Welcome, Scott!
    We sponsor three children, one for eleven years, and it has been such a blessing.
    I, like many others, were somewhat taken aback by the name change, but it really does grow on you, and CFCA was unwieldy anyway.
    I have discussed this with some of your staff, but I would like to start an Unbound group at our Catholic Church, that could meet periodically with our Church’s sponsors and present videos, personal stories about our sponsored, and to invite our Church friends to come and consider being a sponsor. I think this would dramatically expand the Unbound’s outreach. Let me know what everyone thinks.
    John Maulhardt

    1. John, thank you for your continued support of Unbound! We love that you are interested in creating a community for sponsors in your area. We would be happy to support you however we can. Please contact our Outreach Team at 800.875.6564 or outreach@unbound.org to discuss your idea further. We look forward to speaking with you and hearing about your experiences with this group. Best of luck!

      – Clair, Unbound outreach coordinator

  10. I am a CFCA sponsor for the last 15 years. All this time I have been so proud to be a part of the good work you do, and especially of the fact that CFCA seemed so unabashedly Catholic. It’s a good thing for the world to see & know where the goodness of your organization stems from. Why are so many Catholics these days afraid to show their true identity? If it were my choice, I would change the name from Christian Foundation for Children & Aging to: Catholic Foundation for Children & Aging. I am very sad to hear about this silly name change to ‘Unbound”. It sounds very much like one of those ultra-liberal non-denominational churches which calls itself “Christian”, yet sanctions secular anti-Catholic values such as abortion on demand. We as loving Catholics need to stand strong and endure against anti-Catholic fire, and not wither in the face of it. This name change is decptive in it’s attempt to hide the Catholic, Christian core of the organization. Clearly, CFCA is now bending to the “politically correct” secular demotion of the Catholic face in the world. Not so you say? Well then, explain the reason for the new name. What is Unbound supposed to mean? Unbound to the Catholic Church? If there are places or peoples who don’t accept or who fight against CFCA because of the word “Christian” in it’s name, then so be it. Let the good work speak for itself and bear witness to the fact that true Christians (followers of Christ), true Catholics, like our beloved holy martyrs & saints, will NEVER deny Christ, but instead will unabashedly proclaim His name to all the world, regardless of threats, intimidations, or worse. Over the years, I have brought MANY other sponsors to CFCA. I have held sponsorship drives more than once, pleading with and begging my fellow Catholics to get behind the work of CFCA, assuring them of its Catholic identity and pure Christian motives. Now, I and many others feel deeply betrayed by this ill-conceived name change to “Unbound”. Predictably, I believe you will lose many sponsors who feel that their trust in you has been mortally violated. This is a very sad day indeed . . . and I can only pray to our Lord and to his blessed Mother that you will wake up and reconsider this grave mistake. Prayerfully & respectfully yours, a wounded but unyielding Catholic. Vivat Jesus

    1. Thank you, Orfeo, for your many years as a sponsor and for being an advocate of our work. We want to assure you that we are in no way changing our identity or values. We will continue to do the same work as Unbound that we did as CFCA. We are grounded in the Gospel call to serve the poor and continue to follow Catholic social teachings. We are proud of our history of being founded by lay Catholics. Unbound will continue to be a faith-based organization with strong and specific ties to the Catholic Church, but open to all faiths as we have been in the past. For us, Unbound represents breaking the bonds of poverty. Our local bishop Archbishop Nauman sponsors through Unbound and has given his endorsement and full support.

      We are in no way giving in to any Anti-Christian or Anti-Catholic movement. We know Christ is important to our sponsors as it is to our organization as well. Unbound is a word rooted in Isaiah and the Gospel of Luke. If you would like to discuss your concerns please call us at 800-875-6564. We would also like for you to see this message from our founder Bob Hentzen who was instrumental in this process: http://www.hopeforafamily.org/unbound
      Christina, Sponsor Services

    1. Thanks for your question, Barbara. If you have already sent a check made out to CFCA, we will still be able to cash it. Going forward, we would ask that all new checks be made out to Unbound. Our address for mailing checks remains the same:
      P.O. Box 219114
      Kansas City, MO 64121-9114
      If you have any other questions, feel free to call us at (800) 875-6564.
      Christina, Sponsor Services

  11. We sponsor 3 child and 1 adult. Please give me some reassurance that with this name change you are not trying to shed the Christian identity of your organization.

    1. Thank you so much for all the support you have provided your sponsored friends, April. We truly appreciate it. We also understand the concern that some have over our updated name. But the name and logo are the only things that are different. At the core we remain the same organization we have always been, and we continue to be proud of our history as an organization founded by lay Catholics. Unbound will continue to be a faith-based organization with strong and specific ties to the Catholic Church, but also open to all faiths as we have been in the past. If you would like to discuss your concerns please call us at (800) 875-6564. We would also like for you to see this message from our founder Bob Hentzen who was instrumental in this process. http://www.hopeforafamily.org/unbound.


      Christina, Sponsor Services

      1. I share the same concerns. The above reply is not very reassuring. The new name is so vague, it’s almost meaningless. So many organizations lose their way when they remove the words Catholic or Christian from their title or mission statement. I chose this organization because representatives came to my church and told me it was Catholic. I expect that the organization evangelizes for the Church as it performs its work. I will read the other message and call when I have time.

        1. Steve, thank you for sharing your concerns. We believe the name Unbound is meaningful and powerful. Not only does it represent freeing people from poverty, but it also reflects the Gospel message and call to serve. While we don’t attempt to convert people to a particular faith, we do strive to show God’s love through the work we do. Our mission continues to flow from principles of Catholic social teaching, especially the preferential option for the poor and the essential dignity of every human person. We hope this gives you a little more context about our name. We look forward to your call; you can reach us at (800) 875-6564. We also invite you to watch a brief message from our late co-founder Bob Hentzen, who was instrumental in choosing the name Unbound: http://www.hopeforafamily.org/unbound.

          Christina, Sponsor Services

    2. April,
      Thank you. “Christian” is really our name! It is who we are through our Baptism. I agree with your concern and have expressed it many times. If CFCA has to continue to explain what “UNBOUND” means, it doesn’t work for the general public or those who may want to be a part of this wonderful organization. I remain a sponsor and will continue to do so but I dislike the new name.

      1. Dear Rosemary, thank you for sharing your thoughts and thank you, especially, for continuing your sponsorship. Your commitment to your sponsored friend is inspiring. We know Christ is important to our sponsors as it is to our organization as well. Unbound is a word rooted in Isaiah and the Gospel of Luke. We would welcome the opportunity to discuss this with you. If you would like, please call us at 800-875-6564.


        Christina, Sponsor Services

  12. Welcome. Knowing only one awareness trip taught me sponsoring through Unbound(CFCA) changes lives only for the better.

    1. Thanks so much for sharing, Fran. We’re so glad you got the chance to experience things first hand through an awareness trip.

      -Jordan Kimbrell, Unbound Writer/Editor

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