Sponsor Christie Appelhanz is starting her birthday celebration a couple days early. Not with a big party or a fancy dinner, but by running for charity. She’ll be visiting Kansas City on June 5 to take part in the Hospital Hill Run as an Unbound Trailblazer.
“Hospital Hill Run is special because the 5K takes place two days before my 40th birthday,” Christie said. “Instead of gifts, I’m asking friends and family to contribute $40 to Unbound.”
Unbound is one of four charity partners for HHR this year, and 102 people have signed up for at least one HHR event as an Unbound Trailblazer. The Trailblazer program is a way for people to raise awareness and donations for Unbound through athletic events they already enjoy, such as marathons.
For Christie, participating as a Trailblazer is a natural extension of her desire to help others.
“I run to stay healthy and to hang out with my 9-year-old daughter, Kate,” she said. “5Ks keep me motivated.
“[Being a Trailblazer] is an easy way to promote Unbound. And I’m always looking for ways to find new sponsors or donors.”
Christie has a passion for helping kids. She’s the executive director of the Children’s Alliance of Kansas and has volunteered overseas with the Peace Corps. Christie also wants to provide ways for her two children to learn about other people and places.
When she heard about Unbound and how her family would have a chance to get to know the children they sponsor through letters, she knew it was a perfect fit.
“My kids know that it never snows in Honduras,” Christie said. “Sponsoring David and Yorleni has opened my own kids’ eyes to the world around them in a personal way.”
Christie and her family have been sponsoring for almost five years, and Unbound is already her “all-time favorite charity.” The letters back and forth give her confidence that their contributions are making a big impact in the lives of David and Yorleni.
“With Unbound, I feel like I can make a difference,” Christie said. “I believe 100 percent in the work of Unbound and how they use their resources. And I like that there are so many ways to get involved — from submitting prayer requests to [participating in] the Trailblazer program.
“While I personally think a person gets so much from being a sponsor, it’s not the only way. You can make a one-time contribution just by skipping a meal or giving up cable for a month. Every bit helps.”