Category Archives: Get involved

A young Filipino girl reads letters from her sponsors.
Dec 28 2016

A powerful resolution for 2017

A young Filipino girl reads letters from her sponsors.

Lennen, a 15-year-old girl in the Philippines, smiles as she reads through letters and cards from her sponsors, Melvin and Mary in Pennsylvania.


This month we’ve been exploring the value of letter writing here on the blog. The big question is, why write? And we’ve answered with a myriad of reasons that are less about paper and postage and all about human connections and encouragement.
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A group of sponsored youths in Guatemala make Christmas cards to send to their sponsors.
Dec 14 2016

Letters are a gift of time and thought

A group of sponsored youths in Guatemala make Christmas cards to send to their sponsors.

A group of sponsored youths in Guatemala make Christmas cards to send to their sponsors.

At this time of year sponsors often ask us, “Do you have any suggestions for what I can give my sponsored friend for Christmas?” As a matter of fact, we do, and all it will cost you is a wee bit of your time. OK, that and an international postage stamp.

Write your sponsored friend a letter.

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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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Unbound Global Block Party
Oct 28 2016

Kansas City, you’re invited!

Unbound Global Block Party
We’re celebrating our 35th Anniversary with a Global Block Party at our HQ in Kansas City! Please join us in celebrating our families in the 20 countries where we work and all our amazing sponsors and supporters who walk alongside them.

Unbound’s Global Block Party
Saturday, Nov. 19 3-6 p.m.
Unbound HQ — 1 Elmwood Ave, Kansas City, Kansas
Free family-friendly event

Featuring:

Please let us know you’re coming! Registration is free, but space is limited.

Click here to RSVP for Unbound’s Global Block Party!

Oct 19 2016

35 years of service

Unbound 35 years of service
What started in 1981 with our five co-founders and their Christmas card lists has bloomed into a global humanitarian community that impacts hundreds of thousands of families around the world. It’s Unbound’s 35th Anniversary Nov. 20, and we want you to celebrate with us! Follow along during these next five weeks as we share stories about our history and all the amazing people that make up the Unbound community. We guarantee you’ll learn something new.

The story of Bob’s walks might be one of those new things. In 2011, at age 75, Unbound co-founder Bob Hentzen finished a walk from Guatemala to Chile as a show of solidarity with the people of Unbound, after having walked from Kansas City to Guatemala 15 years earlier. Upon completing the second walk, Bob said, “The adventure is just beginning.”

That’s the spirit with which we celebrate our 35th anniversary, honoring our past and looking forward to the adventures ahead. You’ll learn more about Bob’s walks in coming weeks, along with reflections from sponsored children and elders and their families. And you’ll learn about how the organization bloomed over the years from the very first sponsored child to supporting 310,000 children and elders.

Follow along with us here on the blog, on Facebook and Instagram, and look for a special issue of the Living Unbound magazine in your mailbox in the coming weeks. We hope you’ll stay tuned and celebrate with us.

Luciana, a 6-year-old sponsored child from Kenya, works on a Christmas card for her sponsor, JoAnne in Kansas.
Oct 12 2016

Don’t forget to mail your holiday greetings!

Share the joy of Christmas.
Christmas is right around the corner, and soon our sponsors will be receiving Christmas cards in their mailboxes from their sponsored friends. Each year, sponsored friends send their greetings at Christmas as a special way to express their gratitude.

Christmas cards give sponsored friends like Luciana (below) a chance to share the joy of the season with their sponsors.

Luciana, a 6-year-old sponsored child from Kenya, works on a Christmas card for her sponsor, JoAnne in Kansas.

Luciana, a 6-year-old sponsored child from Kenya, works on a Christmas card for her sponsor, JoAnne in Kansas.

Many of our sponsored friends start on their Christmas cards in the summer to make sure they reach their sponsors in time.

While it might not take quite as long for you to create a card, we do recommend mailing holiday greetings by the end of October. This leaves plenty of time for the card to reach the local office that serves your sponsored friend, be translated and then hand delivered by our office staff.

Please remember that our international offices are not able to accept packages. For more information about this policy, please contact us at (800) 875-6564 or mail@unbound.org.

Want to avoid the lines at the post office? Check out our eLetter feature.

  • Go to Unbound.org/eletter
  • Log in to your Unbound.org account (if you’ve never logged in, it’s easy to sign up)
  • Select a template, enter your message, attach a photo if you’d like and send!
  • Unbound staff in your friend’s local office will print the letter and deliver it to your friend

Sending an eLetter is fast, simple and doesn’t require postage. And it’s a great way to send your friend a holiday greeting.

During a Skype call with Unbound staff members Andrew Kling, Joe Sundermeyer, Melissa Velazquez and Barclay Martin, G.W. Carver Elementary School sixth-grader Anahy asks questions on behalf of her class.
Oct 5 2016

Teaching a global perspective


Teachers serve an important role in society. Along with parents, they have the enormous task of preparing the next generation with the knowledge and skills needed to be successful adults. We celebrate these individuals today on World Teacher’s Day.

Mark De Young teaches sixth grade at G.W. Carver Elementary School in Yuma, Arizona. Mark has been teaching for 13 years, but in the past two years he’s introduced a philanthropic project for his students to help them gain a global perspective.

“Students also have the opportunity to use their skills [that they’ve learned in class] in a meaningful fashion,” Mark said. Through this project, they learned that there is a purpose to the persuasive writing skills that I taught them.”

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Jaileen works on a project for Communications as part of her internship.
Sep 23 2016

Reflections from an Unbound intern

Jaileen works on a project for Communications as part of her internship.

Jaileen works on a project for Communications as part of her internship.

By Jaileen Guadalupe Escalante, a junior at Cristo Rey Kansas City High School and an Unbound intern

I am 16 years old, love the color pink, volleyball, track and field, and traveling.

I’m a very active, happy person, always smiling and caring for others. I don’t like being bored; in fact I believe you should try to have fun 24/7, even if things aren’t going right. That way you’ll get through everything, because being yourself makes you special.

You’re getting to know so much about me, now let’s talk about what I do at Unbound!

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Joanna, a member of the trips team in the Kansas office, with a sponsored friend named Maria in Merida, Mexico.
Jul 1 2016

Trip stories: Where ‘beauty and brokenness’ meet

Joanna, a member of the trips team in the Kansas office, with a sponsored friend named Maria in Merida, Mexico.

Joanna, a member of the trips team in the Kansas office, with a sponsored friend named Maria in Merida, Mexico.


Joanna Pergande is a trip coordinator for Unbound Awareness Trips. Based in the Kansas office, Joanna has been an Unbound staff member since August 2014 and is a fluent Spanish speaker. Here she reflects on what it’s like to go on awareness trips and see the transformation that happens in the lives and hearts of travelers.
Read Joanna’s reflection on being a trip coordinator.