Category Archives: Community

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Dec 2 2016

Kendra Scott event benefits Unbound scholars

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When the popular jewelry shop Kendra Scott hosted a Kendra Gives Back event last year at their Kansas City location, the result was 12 Unbound scholarships going to support young adults in Merida, Mexico. One of those young adults is Joyce.

Joyce, an Unbound scholar in Mexico, studies psychology at a university.

Joyce, an Unbound scholar in Mexico, studies psychology at a university.

“Unbound has been a very important part of my development,” Joyce said. “… [Unbound] has taught me how to be more independent and know who I am as a person.”

After she graduates, Joyce would like to set up workshops and conferences for youth struggling with issues such as lack of self-esteem and addiction, and provide resources to help them overcome their challenges.

More young people like Joyce will benefit from Unbound scholarships as a result of this year’s Kendra Gives Back event held on Nov. 22.

More than 70 people popped in to the Kendra Scott store in Kansas City’s Country Club Plaza between 6 and 8 p.m., when 20 percent of all proceeds went to Unbound Education to provide scholarships for students pursuing higher education. With a raffle for a $50 gift card, there was extra incentive to visit the store, but call-in orders were also welcomed and counted toward the total contribution.

Within just two hours, the event raised $639 for Unbound Education, almost doubling last year’s total.

So far this year, Kendra Scott has donated more than $2 million to charities through these types of events. Thank you so much to Kendra Scott and especially Hayley Keown, community relations and event manager for the Plaza location who sets up these events for organizations around Kansas City. And a big thank you to all those who participated in Kendra Gives Back with Unbound.

Nritya School of Indian Dance and Music
Nov 30 2016

Global Block Party celebrates 35 years

We’re so honored that more than 1,000 people celebrated 35 years of service with us on Saturday, Nov. 19 at our Global Block Party. Located at our headquarters in Kansas City, the party was packed with sponsors, neighbors, employees and founding families. The day was a meaningful symbol of the growing Unbound community in Kansas City and around the globe.

Over the course of the crisp, fall afternoon, guests learned about Unbound’s unique model through a staff-created exhibit about our work, listened to speakers and performers, and visited with staff and family members of our founders. From a KC drill team to African traditional dancers, performances were running throughout the event, reflecting the colorful cultures of Unbound from Kansas City to around the globe. Check out some photos from our big day.

The day was opened by local performers Amado Espinoza and Karen Lisondra, who performed traditional Andean music of Bolivia.
See photos from the big day

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Nov 25 2016

Making Christmas merry in the Philippines

Parents of children sponsored in the Philippines turn tree branches into a crepe paper Christmas tree.

Parents of children sponsored in the Philippines turn tree branches into a crepe paper Christmas tree.

Close your eyes and picture a Christmas tree. If you’re from the United States, there’s a good chance you pictured some type of fir tree covered in baubles and topped with a star. And while there are plenty of firs in North America, they’re scarce in places like the Philippines, especially when looking for ones with the iconic conical shape.

But families of sponsored friends in the Philippines don’t let that scarcity stop their holiday cheer. Using recyclable materials, several families created their own Christmas trees and decorations.

See the photos!

thank-you
Nov 23 2016

Unbound is thankful for …

Unbound is thankful for all the support and encouragement sent from our sponsors and donors to families living in poverty around the world. As a community, we’re making a big difference in many lives.

Happy Thanksgiving from Unbound!

Wilber, 12, a sponsored child in Guatemala who hopes to be an architect or engineer someday, partly because "Wilber the architect sounds nice!"
Nov 21 2016

35 snapshots of Unbound: 29-35

One of the ways we’ve been celebrating our 35th anniversary is by hearing from sponsored friends and staff around the world. We asked them how Unbound has changed them, what their favorite thing about being sponsored is or what greeting they have for us at this milestone. We’ve featured 35 snapshots of our global community over the past several weeks right here on the blog. Check out the final set of snapshots in the series below, and check out previous posts in the series here!
Yovana, a social worker for Unbound in Guatemala, who deeply appreciates how members of the Unbound community share similar values, regardless of their backgrounds.
Check out the snapshots

Unbound's 35th anniversary
Nov 20 2016

Happy anniversary, Unbound!

Unbound's 35th anniversary

Unbound was founded 35 years ago this day, Nov. 20. We’re grateful for all that has brought us this far, including our committed sponsors and donors, the hard-working sponsored children and elders and their families, and all the staff near and far who foster those connections. Thank you for being a part of our story.

We’re pleased to announce that Nov. 20, 2016, has been officially proclaimed as Unbound Day in the State of Kansas, the State of Missouri, and the cities of Kansas City, Kansas, and Kansas City, Missouri! Thank you to the governors’ and mayors’ offices on both sides of the state line for honoring our 35 years of service with this proclamation!

Happy anniversary, Unbound!

Read our blog series in honor of our anniversary.

Florelia Delgado of Colombia was the first person sponsored through Unbound. She's pictured here in her home city of Bogota.
Nov 18 2016

Meeting the first sponsored child

Florelia Delgado of Colombia was the first person sponsored through Unbound. She's pictured here in her home city of Bogota.

Florelia Delgado of Colombia was the first person sponsored through Unbound. She’s pictured here in her home city of Bogota.

The following post includes reflections from Judith Bautista, coordinator of Unbound’s program in Bogota, Colombia, on meeting Florelia Delgado, the first person sponsored through Unbound. It also includes excerpts from an interview Judith and members of her team conducted with Florelia. The interview served as the basis for a story in our 35th anniversary edition of Living Unbound.

Her name evokes flowers. Florelia Delgado is a woman born in Bogota, Colombia. She’s intelligent, brave, creative, sweet and inspiring. She’s a mother, daughter, sister, friend and worker. But for Unbound, she also represents the beginning of sponsorship.

Florelia, almost 35 years ago, was selected to initiate a program that today has a presence in 20 countries, and has more than 310,000 sponsored around the world and more than 260,000 sponsors. She was the first person sponsored in the Unbound world, and her sponsors were Robert [Bob] Hentzen, the late co-founder of Unbound, and his wife, Cristina.

Being the 35th anniversary of the birth of Unbound, we in the Bogota project felt inspired and motivated to work on finding the first sponsored girl. We thought it would be lovely to be able to contact her, especially since the first project that opened was precisely in Bogota.

Keep reading

Bob Hentzen walks with families in Guatemala in 2009, at the start of his second marathon walk. His wife, Cristina (far right) walks with them.
Nov 16 2016

Did you know: Our co-founder walked 12,000 miles

Bob Hentzen walks with families in Guatemala in 2009, at the start of his second marathon walk. His wife, Cristina (far right) walks with them.

Bob Hentzen walks with families in Guatemala in 2009, at the start of his second marathon walk. His wife, Cristina (far right) walks with them.


By Loretta Shea Kline, managing editor at Unbound

People are capable of more than they think they are.

Our late co-founder Bob Hentzen shared that wisdom with me in a December 2009 interview at the start of his extraordinary walk from Guatemala to Chile, a trek that crossed 12 countries, 18 months and nearly 8,000 miles. He’d answered a question I asked him about parallels between the long haul of the walk and our work with families in poverty.

Keep reading

Lyka, 11, is a sponsored child from the Philippines who dreams of becoming a teacher when she grows up so she can help children like her learn to speak English.
Nov 14 2016

35 snapshots of Unbound: 22-28

One of the ways we are celebrating our 35th anniversary coming up on Nov. 20 is by hearing from sponsored friends and staff around the world. We asked them how Unbound has changed them, what their favorite thing is about being sponsored or what greeting they have for us at this milestone. We’re featuring 35 snapshots of our global community as we lead up to Nov. 20, right here on the blog. Check out the next set of snapshots in the series and stay tuned for more!
Lourdu, 76, is a sponsored elder in India who used to play the church organ and piano during Mass and enjoys singing and dancing with his fellow sponsored elders at Unbound events.
Keep reading

Near the time of Unbound's founding, co-founder Bob Hentzen visits a school in rural Honduras, representative of the humble places where some sponsored children were educated in the early days, and continue to be today. This, along with many other historical photos, is featured on our new timeline.
Nov 11 2016

A new way to learn about Unbound’s history

Near the time of Unbound's founding, co-founder Bob Hentzen visits a school in rural Honduras, representative of the humble places where some sponsored children were educated in the early days, and continue to be today. This, along with many other historical photos, is featured on our new timeline.

Near the time of Unbound’s founding, co-founder Bob Hentzen visits a school in rural Honduras, representative of the humble places where some sponsored children were educated in the early days, and continue to be today. This, along with many other historical photos, is featured on our new timeline.


As we celebrate our 35th anniversary this month, we are pleased to present a new way to learn about Unbound’s founding, history, and all that’s happened along the way. Our new timeline will take you on a journey from 1981 until now.

Unbound was founded in 1981 by five lay Catholics who had a vision to challenge poverty in a new way. These five — four siblings and a friend — used their personal Christmas card lists to reach out to the first donors and sponsors, some who still support Unbound today.

The first programs were established in Colombia and Honduras, and over the next several years spread throughout Latin America and ultimately into Africa and Asia. From the first awareness trip to office relocations to cross-continental walks, our history is rich with progress, all with a personal touch.

Visit the new Unbound timeline on our website to see the astonishing changes over the past 35 years, that have grown the movement from the very first sponsored child in Colombia to 310,000 sponsored children and elders in 20 countries today.

Unbound would like to thank all the staff near and far who contributed information to this timeline, and our amazing web and design team for putting it together. Finally, thank you to all those who have been a part of this history — and that includes you!

Check out the history of Unbound.