Sponsored member Vaishnavi (center) in Hyderabad, India, celebrates the holiday spirit with her parents.
Dec 5 2016

Giving sponsorship as a gift this Christmas

Sponsored member Vaishnavi (center) in Hyderabad, India, celebrates the holiday spirit with her parents.

Sponsored member Vaishnavi (center) in Hyderabad, India, celebrates the holiday spirit with her parents.

At Christmas, many people give charitably in honor of a loved one instead of giving traditional Christmas gifts. For a family member who doesn’t want more stuff, or a friend who loves the idea of sponsorship but is unsure about the financial commitment, giving the gift of sponsorship is a beautiful way to celebrate.

Something special under the tree

Chris Burnett of Kansas City gives sponsorship as a gift every year. Learning about Unbound from a friend, he decided to honor his parents by inviting them into the Unbound community as sponsors — but he’s the one who writes the checks.

Grateful to grow up in a stable household, Chris knew that his parents didn’t want or need more “stuff.” He felt that giving them sponsorship as a gift was a great way to pay it forward.

“When you can give someone the satisfaction of knowing that, instead of buying them the newest Beats headphones, you were able to further the education or health care of a rural kid in Bolivia,” Chris said. “That really means a lot.”

For Chris and his parents, his gifts of sponsorship work simply — he pays for two sponsorships each month, but his parents are the ones who receive letters from their sponsored friends and write to them. Now when he visits, his mom often brings out the letters and photos from their sponsored children to keep Chris up to date.

“More and more of society is turning toward experiences instead of material goods, and this is a great example of an experience you get from sponsoring,” Chris said.

How it works

Many of our sponsors cover the costs of sponsorship on behalf of another person, whether as a gift or as a way to get help writing letters. Unbound makes it easy to set this up through assigning a corresponding sponsor. Here’s how it works:

  • Choose someone waiting for sponsorship
  • Check out
  • Then, look for the prompt that says, “Who should your sponsored friend write to?”
  • Click “Someone else”
  • Add the name, address and other details for the person you’re giving the gift of sponsorship to
  • Once you’ve finished checkout, look for the sponsorship folders to arrive in your mailbox within two weeks, and use them to present the gift of sponsorship to your loved one or friend
  • From that point forward, letters and correspondence will go to the corresponding sponsor
  • If you already have a sponsored friend, you can still assign a corresponding sponsor through the above steps, or by emailing us or calling (800) 875-6564

Gift ideas

There are a lot of ways you can present the gift of sponsorship. You can follow the steps above and select someone waiting for sponsorship, or you can invite your loved one or friend to choose their sponsored friend while you take care of setting up the account. Either way, your financial gift of sponsorship provides an opportunity for someone to build a relationship with another person across the globe, while giving that person a boost out of poverty.

Like Chris said, forming a relationship through correspondence is a privilege — and what a beautiful opportunity to provide that privilege for someone else while covering the financial expense as an ongoing gift.

We hope you’ll consider giving the gift of sponsorship — which is a gift to both the corresponding sponsor and the newly sponsored member — this holiday season.

Give sponsorship as a gift today.

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