Category: Ask Sponsor Services

An image of a woman filling out a workbook.
Jun 23 2017

Child accounts offer the most flexibility for families

Making sponsorship benefits personal

An image of a mother holding her son on her lap.

Maria and her 8-year-old son, Samuel, who is sponsored by Curtis and Susan from Louisiana, share a tender moment outside their home in Colombia.


A mother looks out at her neighborhood as the light creeps over the mountains, the crowing of roosters filling her ears. Her home sits high on a mountain, the city of Medellín sprawling before it.

The mother’s eyes pass over the half-finished wall at the front of her house. She and her husband have been building their home a little at a time over the years, and now have four finished rooms and a bathroom with running water.

She turns from the waking city and enters her home, ready to start breakfast. But first she peeks in at her four sleeping children in their shared bed. Soon they will be awake and getting ready for school.

A soft beeping fills the room as the mother turns to the cooktop. She takes her phone from her pocket and sees a small light flashing to indicate a new message.

The mother smiles as she reads the message. The monthly benefit money from Unbound was just delivered to her child’s sponsorship account, and she and her family already have a plan for how to use it to better their lives.
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Mar 13 2017

Have you sent your sponsored friend a photo lately?

Upload and send photos with our online tool

Photos of children sponsored by Unbound staff members Linda and Nicole Miller, who are mother and daughter. Linda has been a sponsor for 27 years and has stacks and stacks of photos and letters from various sponsored friends.

Photos of children sponsored by Unbound staff members Linda and Nicole Miller, who are mother and daughter. Linda has been a sponsor for 27 years and has stacks and stacks of photos and letters from various sponsored friends.


Each year, our sponsored friends have their pictures taken and sent to their sponsors. Does your sponsored friend have a recent photo of you? It’s important to show our friends that their sponsors are real people on the other side of the world, so be sure to show them who you are!
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Don and Cheryl Sands from Illinois show off photo albums they've built over the years with photos and letters from their sponsored friends. They've been Unbound sponsors for 22 years.
Jan 9 2017

Did you know?

You can pay for your sponsorship online

Don and Cheryl Sands from Ohio show off photo albums they've built over the years with photos and letters from their sponsored friends. They've been Unbound sponsors for four years.

Don and Cheryl Sands from Ohio show off photo albums they’ve built over the years with photos and letters from their sponsored friends. They’ve been Unbound sponsors for four years.

Did you know that many Unbound sponsors use our online payment system to submit their sponsorship contribution each month? You have the option of making one-time payments or setting up an automatic payment on a monthly, quarterly or yearly basis. Paying for your sponsorship online instead of by check is one way to make your life a little simpler and helps Unbound be more efficient in processing your contributions.

If you are mailing checks personally or through your bank, here’s how you can set up recurring payments online and let our website do the work for you.

Keep reading!

Dec 7 2016

Did you know: We translate your letters!

A sponsored child in the Philippines writes a letter to her sponsor in Tagalog. The letter is then translated into English.

A sponsored child in the Philippines writes a letter to her sponsor in Tagalog. The letter is then translated into English.


As an international organization, it’s no surprise Unbound comprises diverse communities speaking numerous languages. While countries we work in might share an official language, such as Spanish, it may not be the first language of many of the residents.

There are hundreds of languages spoken across the Unbound community. From Kaqchikel in Guatemala to Tagalog in the Philippines, languages represent the unique cultures that are part of Unbound.

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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.

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Claudia Stapley, child move coordinator for Unbound
Feb 17 2016

What happens when a sponsored friend leaves the program

Claudia Stapley, child move coordinator for Unbound

Claudia Stapley, child move coordinator for Unbound

By Claudia Stapley, child move coordinator for Unbound

Claudia Stapley is a child move coordinator for Unbound and has been with Unbound for 10 years. When a sponsored member sends in a farewell letter, her team is in charge of processing the letter and contacting the sponsor to let them know their friend is leaving the program. For some this can be an emotional time, and Claudia and her team are there to offer care and understanding.

I’ve been writing to Gemmil in the Philippines since 2010. It’s exciting to hear from him and learn what’s happening in his family. His mom just had a baby this year, plus Gemmil’s in college studying to work on a ship and he tells me about the things he learns, like celestial navigation.

Even with all this excitement, there’s a little pit in my stomach because I know that soon — probably very soon — I’m going to receive a letter telling me that Gemmil is leaving the sponsorship program. I’m so happy for him to be graduating and starting to work. He’ll be able to help his parents and siblings and one day his own family, but I’m also a little sad that our relationship will come to a close.

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Nov 27 2015

Ask Sponsor Services: Sending mail to your friend

Ask-SS-sending-mail

Q. Can I send my friend a gift through the mail?

A. Gifts sent in packages may incur high custom fees or get lost or stolen in the mail. Because of this high cost and risk, our international offices will no longer accept packages. Instead of sending a package, even a small one, try sending a letter instead.

The gifts of letters and photos are treasured most by your sponsored friend. Children and elders often say getting a letter from their sponsor is their favorite part of sponsorship.

You can easily send a quick note from our website. Just sign in and you can send your friend an eLetter and even upload a photo without having to set foot inside the post office.

If you really want to give your friend a gift, consider donating to Unbound’s birthday or Christmas funds.

Families living in poverty often find it difficult to afford the expense of celebrating birthdays and Christmas with gifts and parties. Donations to the birthday and Christmas funds help Unbound sponsored friends celebrate these special occasions.

The local staffs plan community-wide celebrations, which often include the entire family. Sponsored children and aging friends know the celebrations and gifts are from their sponsors.

Please keep in mind that some cultures do not celebrate birthdays and Christmas as we do. Unbound projects ensure that gifts and celebrations are appropriate for the culture.

And remember, what your friend needs most is your friendship and encouragement.

Thank you, and happy writing!

Contact our Sponsor Services team at (800) 875-6564 or mail@unbound.org for more information.

Ask sponsor services
Mar 4 2015

Ask Sponsor Services: Online features

Ask sponsor services

Our Sponsor Services department often gets questions from sponsors and donors about what they can do online. Can I pay for my sponsorship, can I write to my sponsored friend, can I update my credit card/address/other information?

On Unbound.org our supporters can do all of those things, and more; you just need to register.

Go to unbound.org/register. You’ll need three pieces of information to set up your account: your member ID, your name exactly as it appears on your Unbound address label and your ZIP code.

Keep reading to learn more about our online features

Ask Sponsor Services
Aug 22 2014

Can I get mailing labels through email?

Ask Sponsor Services

Q: I’m all out of mailing labels. Can I get them emailed to me?

A: One of the most common requests heard in Sponsor Services is for more mailing labels.

Sponsors may know they can contact Sponsor Services to request more labels, but what many don’t know is that we can email the mailing labels as well.

Sending the mailing labels by email has a number of benefits. Aside from being much faster than regular mail (almost instantaneous), using email helps reduce the amount of paper being used and is a more eco-friendly choice. It’s also more cost-effective, as it saves postage and material costs. You can also save the email and reuse the mailing information whenever you write your sponsored friend.

Contact our Sponsor Services team at (800) 875-6564 or mail@unbound.org to request mailing labels by email.

Ask Sponsor Services
Jul 16 2014

Ask Sponsor Services: We have a new envelope!

Ask Sponsor Services

We recently updated our stationery and you may have seen a new envelope arrive in your mailbox.

If you haven’t seen it, you may want to check your mail. Some of our sponsors don’t recognize this stationery, and haven’t responded to some of the mailings we’ve sent them. In fact, our Sponsor Services team made more than 2,000 calls last month to let our sponsors know about our new envelope.

In case you don’t recognize this new design, keep an eye on your mailbox. You should see it soon!