Category Archives: Sponsor an aging friend

Jose pilots his boat to guide tourists.
May 18 2015

A man and the sea


The sea for Jose is beauty and sustenance. It’s a gracious host welcoming visitors and old friends. It’s also a fierce foe threatening his livelihood and safety in severe storms.

Jose lives by the sea and makes his living from it — as a fisherman, tour guide, farmer and owner of a small store. He lives about an hour from Hundred Islands National Park, a tourist destination and protected area in the Philippines some 150 miles north of Manila. He’s lived in the area since he was 7 years old. He’s 62 now.

Jose has been a member of Unbound’s elder program for two years. The support he gets from his sponsor, Carol in North Carolina, supplements his own hard work and initiative, giving him a little more security in his later years.

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Rafael Villalobos, program coordinator for Unbound in Costa Rica, visits with a sponsored child and his mother.
May 11 2015

The work of Unbound

Rafael Villalobos, program coordinator for Unbound in Costa Rica, visits with a sponsored child and his mother.

Rafael Villalobos, program coordinator for Unbound in Costa Rica, visits with a sponsored child and his mother.


In the United States we still have a few months before we celebrate Labor Day, but many countries, including Costa Rica, the Philippines, Kenya, El Salvador and others, observed the holiday on May 1. In honor of Labor Day, Rafael Villalobos, coordinator for Unbound in Costa Rica, shared a reflection about his own work at Unbound.

I want to start by sharing a quote from Confucius, who said, “Choose a job that you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

This has been my work experience with Unbound.

It’s not just a job, it’s a mission, a lifestyle, something that inspires and gives meaning to life.

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GreatNonprofits
Apr 24 2015

Help us be top-rated in 2015

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:

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.
Apr 17 2015

Celebrating volunteers, Unbound style

Unbound's Outreach Volunteer team, from left: Claudia Vázquez-Puebla, Lydia Leffelman, Clair Paul, Laurel Harrold and Maureen Ortiz.

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!

Ines, 66, recites one of her poems for a group of visitors.
Apr 15 2015

An ode to Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month in the United States. To celebrate we asked sponsored friends if they had any poems they’d like to share. Ines, 66, is a sponsored elder in El Salvador. Despite leaving school after the sixth grade, she has an amazing talent for poetry.

Ines often performs poetry for awareness trip travelers and was glad to share her poetry, and its inspiration, with us.

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Elsa (right) and Colleen (left) worked together to share Unbound in their community.
Mar 30 2015

Tips for sharing Unbound

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.

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Flor helps tend an herbal and vegetable garden with other elders near Quezon City, Philippines.
Mar 25 2015

Growing a community

By Scott Wasserman, president and CEO of Unbound

At the age of 74, Flor tends Unbound’s community herbal and vegetable garden near Quezon City, Philippines. Her home is made of hollow blocks, a cement floor and a roof of galvanized iron sheets. She has no electricity and draws her water from a community well.

She used to support herself by scavenging recyclable materials from a local trash dump. Since 2002, her sponsorship has allowed her to meet with other sponsored elders at their garden to enjoy community and recreation.

On the day we visited, an Unbound social worker led a conversation with Flor and her friends about elder rights. They learned to identify and resist abuse.

After the social worker’s presentation, Flor led us through Unbound’s community garden. She identified each plant and described its medicinal qualities. Some plants are believed to help with colds or headaches. Others fortify the heart. Some heal inflammation or wounds.

Flor works as an informal healer. Families call her to help with their illnesses, and she prescribes natural herbal cures.

She charges her neighbors whatever they can afford, even if it’s only one Philippine peso, or about 2 cents. She asks that they pay something: Flor believes that paying for her services aids in the healing process.

Regardless of the efficacy of her herbs, her visits uplift her neighbors. A poor, ill neighbor living in a dark home can count on Flor to deliver a smile along with her freshly picked flowers and herbs. With her gift of springtime warmth for her homebound neighbors, Flor lives up to her name, which means “flower.”

Become an uplifting presence. Sponsor an elder today.

Social Justice
Feb 20 2015

Take just one step for social justice

By Paul Pearce, Unbound’s director of global strategy

The United Nations’ World Day of Social Justice promotes poverty eradication, full employment and social integration. It is observed each year on Feb. 20.

Social justice requires us to go beyond charity. It requires us to work on structures, attitudes and practices in society that are out of balance, that are biased in some way or lead to some members of society having opportunities for lives with dignity while others do not.

We at Unbound believe one factor that delays action for social justice is a lack of understanding about those it would help. People living in inferior conditions are not inferior people. They have unique talents, aspirations and ideas just like the rest of us.

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A sponsored elder
Feb 18 2015

Proud and dapper

A sponsored elder

A sponsored elder near Meru, Kenya.


Sara Asmussen, Project Specialist for Unbound in Kansas, sent us this picture from her travels in Africa. She was visiting the offices in Meru, Kenya, and visiting homes of sponsored friends in the program. One day, they were traveling to a community and met the gentleman pictured above.

“The staff there explained to me that he is a group leader of the sponsored elderly in his area,” Sara said. “We commented on how sharp he looked. He smiled and said that it was because of Unbound that he is able to have clothes like this and take care of himself.”

Unbound is the only major sponsorship organization that offers sponsorship opportunities for the aging. Access to medical care and nutritious food fills significant gaps in countries with no safety nets for their oldest citizens.

And the Unbound community remedies the all-too-common loneliness faced by elders through support groups, recreational activities and more.

Show your support by sponsoring an elder through Unbound.

Letters
Feb 4 2015

Thank a Mailman Day: A letter’s journey

Today in the United States we celebrate mail carriers and thank them for their work. In honor of this day, we’d like to say thank you to all those in the U.S. and around the world who help deliver and send mail to and from sponsored friends. Because of you, relationships grow and friendships are formed. Thanks for all of your hard work!

To celebrate today, we’d like to give you a look behind the scenes at a letter’s journey from your sponsored friend. It all starts with a piece of paper and pencil …

Shirisha

Shirisha, a sponsored child in India.


Click here to follow the journey of a letter!