Unbound Trailblazer David Scarpello with his wife, Jennifer, after completing the 2015 Twin Lights half marathon in Gloucester, Mass.
Apr 8 2016

The path to becoming a Trailblazer

When David Scarpello first sponsored 11-year-old Reyna from Honduras in 2001, he had no idea he was about to set foot on a path that would eventually take him on three trips to Honduras, into the lives of 17 more sponsored children, and into the role of an Unbound Ambassador.

In June, that path will also lead David from his home in Boston to the starting line of the Hospital Hill Run in Kansas City, where he will participate for the first time.

Unbound, whose international headquarters are in Kansas City, is now in its third year as a charity partner of the Hospital Hill Run. Members of the Unbound community, including staff, sponsors and other friends of the organization, participate in a variety of ways. Some run or walk in the race itself, while others serve as volunteers. Wearing their bright yellow “Unbound Trailblazers” t-shirts, they support the run while helping raise awareness about the work of Unbound.

The goal of raising awareness is a familiar one for David. He has long been an ardent supporter of Unbound and, as an Ambassador, has helped find many new sponsors.

His dedication to the work of Unbound also led David to become an Unbound Trailblazer. Trailblazers are members of the Unbound community who use their participation in various athletic activities to help spread the word about the organization and raise funds for Unbound’s various initiatives.

“I ran a local half marathon in early May [of 2015], and it was just a wonderful experience,” David said. “I was able to raise something like $7,000.”

Clair Paul, an outreach volunteer coordinator with Unbound who met David on one of his trips to Honduras, told him about the Hospital Hill Run. He decided to come to Kansas City to participate.

“I had always felt at some point I wanted to go visit the Kansas City office,” David said. “The race kind of came afterward. … I had a conversation with Clair [and told her] this is something that I’ve been wanting to do, go out and see Kansas, and meet with some of the folks there and let them know what I’m doing… and how I’d like to participate more.

“After having that discussion with [Clair] she said, ‘We might have a really great opportunity for you to come out because we have this race coming up and we are planning on inviting all the Unbound Ambassadors.’ So I’m like, wow, the stars are aligning. And I ran it by my wife and she said, ‘Sure, go ahead.'”

David will be running alongside his 15-year-old son, Nick, who also accompanied him on his last trip to Honduras.

“He was apprehensive before going [on the trip], but he loved it,” David said. “I know for sure he’d go with me on another trip.”

The 2016 Hospital Hill Run is scheduled for June 3 and 4. Because Unbound is a charity partner, the last mile of the run is dedicated to our organization. All members of our local community are encouraged to come and cheer on the Unbound participants, and to join us at both the run and Unbound headquarters for special event-related activities. Contact Abby Melgren at outreach@unbound.org for more information.

Larry Livingston

Larry Livingston
Senior Writer/Editor

Larry has been with Unbound since 2005. He has a background in theology, pastoral ministry and Catholic education, and has written for several national publications. Larry holds a bachelor’s degree from Benedictine College and a master’s degree from St. Meinrad School of Theology. He lives in Shawnee, Kansas with his wife, Kristi, and their son, Ben.

One thought on “The path to becoming a Trailblazer”

  1. Wow David! You are awesome! I was wondering what the record is for the number of sponsorships, and your 18 is amazing. We have 5 sponsored friends (2 elderly & 3 children) and it’s addictive. :) Our 5 kids enjoy writing & receiving letters & even our 4 year old draws pictures for them. The best part is knowing that they are praying for our family. We love Unbound!

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