Becky Findley after completing the 2015 Kansas City Marathon as an Unbound Trailblazer.
Becky Findley (left) with fellow Unbound Trailblazer Xandra Alpiser.
By Becky Findley, Unbound International Evaluations Manager and Unbound Trailblazer
We’ve all been there. That point during a run when you begin to think — “how much longer? Why am I even doing this anyway?” Unbound Trailblazer and staff member Becky Findley shares her reflection on her pursuit to overcome these feelings and become a “real” runner.
I’ve almost reached mile 22, and I’m feeling beat. The weather is unseasonably warm and humid, and my legs are sore. I signed up for this marathon to test my limits, and, in this moment, I think I’ve found them. In this moment, the topic cycling my brain is the question of why I signed up for this race.
Like most runners who began in adulthood, starting to run was a struggle. Going to the park was a humbling act. Other runners zipped past with an elegant combination of speed and athleticism while I struggled to find my stride with the grace of a duck. Quickly, I’d lose my breath, slow to a walk and wonder if I would ever be a “real” runner.
Letter writing is an important part of the Unbound program. Letters connect sponsors with their sponsored friends, giving them a chance to learn about each other’s lives and offer encouragement.
But have you ever wondered about the journey your letter takes on its way to your sponsored friend? Watch this video, which illustrates the journey of a letter from a sponsor in the U.S. to her sponsored friend in the Philippines, to get a better idea of the effort and love that goes into delivering each letter.
Clair Paul, center, with some of her fellow Outreach team coworkers.
By Clair Paul, lead Outreach Coordinator for Unbound
It’s 2017 and we are excited to start a new year, set new goals and find new ways to share Unbound in communities around the country.
Last year, more than 1,700 children and elders were sponsored because our supporters talked about Unbound to people they know. Wow! That’s 1,700 families that can now send their kids to school, put healthy food on the table and know that someone believes in them reaching for their dreams.
And all because somebody was willing to start a conversation.
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. Keep reading
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Want to avoid the lines at the post office? Check out our eLetter feature.