Category Archives: Get involved

Martin Luther King, Jr.
Jan 19 2015

Let the work continue

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. speaking at the Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C., Aug. 28, 1963. National Archives photo no. 306-SSM-4D-107-8.

By Larry Livingston, senior writer/editor

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is properly associated with the U.S. civil rights movement of the mid-20th century. But like all great people, his witness transcends his times.

The heroism of Dr. King is found, as it is for other noble figures throughout history, in his commitment to speak truth to power. It is a simple virtue to understand but a most difficult one to live out. Those who do usually pay a price for it.

Though Dr. King did in fact pay the ultimate price for his commitment to naming injustice for what it was, the words he spoke live on. Nearly 50 years after his assassination, he continues to inspire those who strive to create a more just world.

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Sponsor a child
Dec 19 2014

6 reasons you should write letters

Sponsor a child

Madala in India reads a letter from her sponsor.

Each year Unbound sponsors receive at least two letters and a Christmas card from the person they sponsor. But not as many letters go the other way.

There are lots of reasons for not sending a letter. Not knowing what to say (here are some useful tips), international postage can be a hassle (did you know you can send eLetters?), or maybe life is just plain hectic.

To counter that, here are six reasons from Unbound staff and sponsors on why you should be writing letters.

1. “Each day I communicate in an overwhelming number of ways: social networks, texts, emails, phone calls. However, nothing brightens my day like receiving a little piece of news from one of my sponsored friends in a faraway country. I write because I want them to have the same experience.” — Ellen Edgar, project specialist

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Nursing school
Dec 17 2014

‘No Place for Lazy People’

Nursing school

Yollande is completing her training as a nurse at a local health center in Madagascar.

By Barclay Martin, new channels coordinator for Unbound

Sitting in the home of Yollande and her mother, Jeanne, I was given a beautiful glimpse of human potential. In a place where homes are commonly assembled with humble and often salvaged materials, their home is simple, but stately. When I commented on how lovely it felt to be in their home, Jeanne replied, “We have built our life one step at a time, including this house.”

Yollande is 21 and has been raised alongside her siblings in their neighborhood on the outskirts of Antsirabe, Madagascar. Their neighborhood’s name translates to “No Place for Lazy People.”

Welcome to Tsiratrinikamo.

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Christmas cards
Dec 10 2014

The journey of a Christmas card

Christmas cards

Christmas cards made by sponsored children in Venezuela.

By Larry Livingston, senior writer/editor

This month, in cities and towns all over the U.S., Unbound sponsors will be receiving Christmas cards from their sponsored friends. A small expression of cheer, gratitude and creativity, these cards have become a cherished Unbound tradition. But what sponsors may not realize is that when their card arrives in their homes it is at the end of a very long journey.

In most of our 21 countries, the process of creating Christmas cards begins in the summer. Following a few practical guidelines set by the Kansas office, the various project staffs form their individual plans. Some will create themes or design templates, while others set wider parameters that allow for more personal creativity.

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Sponsor a child
Dec 1 2014

Be a Superhero this Giving Tuesday

Sponsor a child

Rodrigo and his mother, Silvia.

In an urban neighborhood in El Salvador, a little boy with a gapped-tooth smile named Rodrigo dreams of becoming a superhero.

But not so he can fly, become invisible or freeze his enemies.

He loves pretending he’s a superhero because every day he sees people who need one.

In a country where more than a third of the population lives in poverty, including Rodrigo, hungry bellies, leaky roofs and families struggling to send their kids to school and to get ahead are everyday realities.

“My dream is to be a superhero,” Rodrigo said. “To save and help people.”

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#GivingTuesday
Nov 24 2014

5 ways to celebrate Giving Tuesday as a family

#GivingTuesday

Parents are always seeking ways to teach their kids about giving back. And never more so than around the holidays. In this festive, but often wish-list-centric time of year, we need opportunities to remind ourselves about what it means to be grateful, to cherish what we have and to serve others.

Giving Tuesday is on Dec. 2 this year, and it’s is the perfect time for families to focus on giving back. Here are a few ideas for how your family can participate with Unbound this Giving Tuesday:

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Flocking flamingos
Nov 14 2014

Building homes with the help of pink flamingos

Flocking flamingos

A lawn visited by the Woodmont youth group’s “flocking flamingos.”

You wake up one morning, and as you’re going about your normal routine you glance out at your front lawn. But it looks a bit different than usual. Somehow, a flock of plastic flamingos has made its way to your lawn.

Over the last few months, members of the Woodmont Christian Church in Tennessee have experienced “flockings” courtesy of their youth group. It’s not a prank but one of the fundraising strategies the youth group developed for their “Guats Up” initiative.

Their goal? To build a house in Guatemala for a family that needs one.

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Typhoon Rammasun
Nov 5 2014

Living through a typhoon in the Philippines

In an average year, 20 or more typhoons enter the Philippines. Half of those make landfall. Jane, who is sponsored through Unbound in the Philippines, shares her experiences from category 4 typhoon Rammasun, known locally as Glenda, which hit the Philippines earlier this year. The 17-year-old attends school in the Bicol region of the Philippines, and stays in a boarding house because of the school’s distance from her home.

It was July 15, 2014, when terrible typhoon Glenda hit our place in Bicol Region. The day before the typhoon made landfall, Albay Governor Joey Salceda suspended classes for all levels at 1 o’clock in the afternoon.

I used the remaining hours of the day to prepare my things to go home to my family. But the next morning I wasn’t able to go home because the public transportation to my hometown was canceled due to heavy rains. I decided to go back to the boarding house and stay there with my roommate.

Read more of Jane’s experience