Category Archives: Sponsor a child

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.

Blue Michel and her sponsored friend Gloria on an awareness trip in Kenya.
Jun 29 2016

Trip stories: ‘Hearts joined in unity’

Blue Michel and her sponsored friend Gloria on an awareness trip in Kenya.

Blue Michel and her sponsored friend Gloria on an awareness trip in Kenya.

Unbound sponsor Sandra “Blue” Michel traveled to Kenya in February on an Unbound Awareness Trip. She joined Unbound as a sponsor seven years earlier, after doing extensive research to choose an organization to partner with.

Read Blue’s passionate reflection about her trip.

Mary Geisz, Unbound's director of sponsor experience, hugs her sponsored friend, Joyce, on an awareness trip to Kenya.
Jun 27 2016

Trip stories: Receiving, listening and learning

Mary Geisz, Unbound's director of sponsor experience, hugs her sponsored friend, Joyce, on an awareness trip to Kenya.

Mary Geisz, Unbound’s director of sponsor experience, hugs her sponsored friend, Joyce, on an awareness trip to Kenya.

Unbound’s director of sponsor experience, Mary Geisz, traveled to Kenya for the first time on an Unbound awareness trip, where she was rewarded beyond expectation.

Read Mary’s profound reflection about her trip.

Father Mike Rieder celebrates Mass with a group from McGann-Mercy High School during a 2014 service trip to El Salvador.
Jun 24 2016

Music to our ears: a baseball bet ten years in the making


By Larry Livingston, senior writer

Father Mike Rieder is a modern Renaissance man. He’s a pastor, a seasoned international traveler and a diehard New York Mets fan (more about that to come). He’s also a treasured member of the Unbound community.

“I’ve been a sponsor a little over 20 years,” Father Mike said. “A friend of mine who I love and trust invited me to join. It has changed my life, the whole experience of being connected with Unbound. Then, becoming a [Unbound] preacher, I felt like, ‘Wow I made the team!’ But, honestly, I was then told I’d been part of the team the whole time.”

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Sponsored children in the southern Philippines play together. Unbound promotes peace and harmony in the region through activities with children and families.
Jun 22 2016

Faith, friendship, gratitude and mercy


Before Al Nhadzar of the Philippines was sponsored at age 12, he hoped for a sponsor not only to help with his education, but to have a friend in another part of the world.

“It [the sponsorship] will be a help to me and my family, especially in my studies,” he said. “I will gain a friend from the other side of the world, which is a very important experience for me.”

Al Nhadzar, who goes by Al, found that friend in Patricia Lazzaro of New York.

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Ismael Kwenga, a former sponsored member from Meru, Kenya.
Jun 20 2016

‘I look forward to going even further’

Ismael Kwenga, a former sponsored member from Meru, Kenya.

Ismael Kwenga, a former sponsored member from Meru, Kenya.

By Ismael Kwenga, a former sponsored member

When a sponsored member leaves the program, especially after completing their education, it marks a new chapter in their lives. Sometimes Unbound is part of that new chapter, like when a former sponsored member takes on a staff position, but other times their lives take a different path.

That’s why it’s always a great joy to hear from former sponsored members about what they are doing after leaving the program. We received the following letter from Ismael in Meru, Kenya, updating us about his future plans. He left the program last year after completing his college degree. And though he is no longer part of the Unbound program, his story is a testimony to the lasting impact sponsorship can have on someone’s life.

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Hugo and Maria with four of their children. Sons Jairo and Cesar (from left) are in the background, while the parents hold twin babies (from left) Ethan and Adler.
Jun 17 2016

Hugo’s story: learning from life

Hugo and Maria with four of their children. Sons Jairo and Cesar (from left) are in the background, while the parents hold twin babies (from left) Ethan and Adler.

Hugo and Maria with four of their children. Sons Jairo and Cesar (from left) are in the background, while the parents hold twin babies (from left) Ethan and Adler.

This is the last in a series of four stories about fathers of children sponsored through Unbound. We’ve been posting these leading up to the celebration of Father’s Day on June 19. Click here to watch the companion video.

Read Hugo’s story

Peter helps his daughter, Florence, with her homework. She is able to go to school because of her Unbound sponsorship.
Jun 15 2016

Peter’s story: A father’s honor

Peter helps his daughter, Florence, with her homework. She is able to go to school because of her Unbound sponsorship.

Peter helps his daughter, Florence, with her homework. She is able to go to school because of her Unbound sponsorship.

This is the third in a series of four stories about fathers of children sponsored through Unbound. We’ll be posting these leading up to the celebration of Father’s Day on June 19. Click here to watch the companion video.

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Mark shows off a favorite example of his light-up photo frames — an image of Pope Francis.
Jun 13 2016

Ugandan dad goes from stress to stability

Mark, the father of a child sponsored through Unbound, works in his woodshop in Uganda.

Mark, the father of a child sponsored through Unbound, works in his woodshop in Uganda.

On a sunny day in Uganda, Mark is hard at work in his backyard woodshop.

A self-employed carpenter for 31 years, Mark has had to jump a lot of hurdles to get his business — and his family — to the steady place they are now. His daughter, Veronika, is sponsored through Unbound and he attributes much of the family’s economic stability to her sponsorship.
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Randy is the primary caretaker for his five children while his wife works abroad. His three oldest girls are sponsored through Unbound.
Jun 10 2016

Randy’s story: Love covers distance

Randy is the primary caretaker for his five children while his wife works abroad. His three oldest girls are sponsored through Unbound.

Randy is the primary caretaker for his five children while his wife works abroad. His three oldest girls are sponsored through Unbound.

This is the second in a series of four stories about fathers of children sponsored through Unbound. We’ll be posting these leading up to the celebration of Father’s Day on June 19. Click here to watch the companion video.
Read Randy’s story