Sponsored children and their classmates stand outside their school in Guatemala.
Microsoft Windows recently launched its #UpgradeYourWorld campaign to celebrate nonprofits doing good work around the world. They’ve selected nine and they’re searching for one more international organization to fill the last spot.
Unbound wants to be the 10th nonprofit picked to win $500,000 to support our work — part of a $10 million Microsoft Windows investment.
The 10th organization will be chosen by the people and the number of votes collected via Twitter, Instagram and Facebook so we need your help!
Here are 10 reasons why Unbound should be one of Microsoft Windows’ global nonprofits.
An estimated 2.5 million people across the globe — many of them children — are victims of modern slavery in the form of human trafficking. Some are forced into brutal manual labor, while others become captive to the sex trade. Still others are forced to act as soldiers and, in some cases, participate in war crimes.
Unbound believes we have a special role to play in combating this epidemic.
This stack of letters was written by Kansas City-area middle school students to Unbound sponsored youth waiting for new sponsors.
Letter writing is an important aspect of Unbound’s sponsorship program. Not only do we require sponsored members to write at least two letters a year to their sponsors, we encourage sponsors to write back. We frequently hear from sponsored members how much getting letters from their sponsors means to them. Sometimes those letters have the ability to change lives
But when sponsored friends are between sponsors, they don’t have anyone to write to or receive letters from. When sponsors must discontinue their support, their sponsored friends continue to participate in the program and receive assistance while Unbound tries to find new sponsors for them.
Currently, we have more than 5,000 children, youth and elders waiting for new sponsors. Some of them have only been waiting a couple of months, while others have been waiting a couple of years. They’re missing out on a huge part of the Unbound program experience.
Topeka sponsor Christie Appelhanz and her daughter, Kate, often go for runs together.
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.”
Go to Instagram and enter to win this tote bag and tumbler!
It’s contest time again! We are doing an Instagram giveaway for an Unbound tumbler and tote bag. Get out your device and go to Instagram to enter. Here’s how:
1. Find @UnboundOrg on Instagram and follow us.
2. On our Instagram page, look for the image pictured above and “Like” it.
3. Then tag two friends in the comments.
That’s it. All entries will be checked twice. The winner will be announced on 5/29 (contest ends 5/28, 11:59 p.m. (CST)). The winner will be chosen at random and will be tagged in the comments of the Instagram post. The winner must send a direct message via Instagram to @UnboundOrg to redeem the prize.
In 2014, Unbound was a GreatNonprofits Top-Rated organization. We need your help to achieve this honor again in 2015.
To be a top-rated nonprofit, we just need 10 new positive reviews with a 4- or 5-star rating between now and Oct. 31. Maintaining a high rating on review sites like GreatNonprofits helps raise awareness about Unbound and the work we do to help families fight poverty.
Click here to view the Unbound page on GreatNonprofits and write a review. Need some inspiration? Sponsor Margaret Bristow left this wonderful review for us last year:
Review on GreatNonprofits from sponsor Margaret Bristow.
After you write your review, share it on social media and let your friends and family know you support Unbound.
Unbound’s Outreach Volunteer team, from left: Claudia Vázquez-Puebla, Lydia Leffelman, Clair Paul, Laurel Harrold and Maureen Ortiz.
To celebrate National Volunteer Week, we checked in with Unbound’s Outreach Volunteer team. It’s their happy duty to support the efforts of volunteers who are willing to help find new sponsors
in their local communities. The team calls these dedicated supporters “ambassadors
,” and they are an invaluable part of Unbound’s outreach efforts.
Though the team spends much of their time finding volunteers to assist Unbound preachers at weekend church presentations, ambassadors contribute in a number of other creative ways as well.
Team member Clair Paul appreciates their devotion.
“I find the passion of our volunteers very inspiring,” she said. “It’s obvious they care so deeply for their sponsored friends and want their family and friends to have the experience they’ve had with Unbound.”
Read more about our volunteers!
Elsa and Colleen set up their Unbound information table outside the San Gabriel Mission Parish.
Elsa (right) and Colleen (left) worked together to share Unbound in their community.
By Elsa Aguirre, Unbound sponsor and ambassador
Jesus said, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Mathew 18:20).
I always thought about this scripture as referring to prayer. Yes, there is great power in praying together. But there is also great power in doing things together.
For many years, I had the desire to help get more children sponsored. But I never attempted hosting an information table at my local church.
That changed when I found a buddy.
: Barclay Martin speaks with high school teacher Gail Martin and a group of her students about the documentary “Rise and Dream.”
This 2008 archive photo shows teens from the “Rise and Dream” documentary.
Letters are an everyday part of the Unbound program — they’re the bridge that connects people throughout our world. Hundreds of thousands of letters from sponsored friends pass through our Kansas City headquarters each year on their way to sponsors. With all the correspondence that passes through our office, some letters still come as a surprise.
Marybeth Stucker after running the Akron Marathon.
Marybeth and her sponsored friend, Miriam, on the 2014 Bolivia awareness trip.
When asked what people should know about her, Marybeth Stucker said, “I tend to talk obsessively about the things I am passionate about … entrepreneurship, running, Unbound … and really good food!”
Marybeth learned of Unbound in 2006 when a priest visited her hometown parish in Cincinnati to talk about the organization’s work with children and elders. The priest’s message resonated with Marybeth, prompting her into action.
“Even though I was only 16 at the time, I really wanted to help a young girl in need,” Marybeth said. “I used my earnings from my part-time job at a bakery to pay my monthly sponsorship.”