Category Archives: Sponsor an aging friend

Dec 26 2016

Unbound in 2016

$105.3 million to the field - graphicAs 2016 comes to an end, we reflect on the past year with a lot of gratitude. Every one of our sponsors and sponsored friends has played a tremendous role in making a big impact around the globe. We’re happy to report that, in 2016 alone, we’ve disbursed more than $105.3 million in field support to our programs around the world, a one-year record!
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Unbound staff member writing a letter.
Dec 21 2016

An encouraging word

Why letters matter to sponsored friends

Unbound employee Loretta writes a letter to her sponsored friend.

Loretta Shea Kline, a sponsor and Unbound managing editor, writes a letter to her friend, Dinesh, in India.


By Loretta Shea Kline, managing editor at Unbound

I write for a living and know the hardest part of writing anything— this blog post, a story for our Living Unbound magazine or a letter to my sponsored friend — is getting started.

We tell sponsors all the time that writing to their sponsored friends is easy. While tools such as mailing labels and eLetters make the process of sending a letter easier, crafting words to go on the paper or screen is never easy.

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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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Carlos outside his home in Guatemala. He rents a room constructed of corrugated metal for the walls and roof and concrete for the floor.
Dec 9 2016

A lifelong education

Carlos outside his home in Guatemala. He rents a room constructed of corrugated metal for the walls and roof and concrete for the floor.

Carlos outside his home in Guatemala. He rents a room constructed of corrugated metal for the walls and roof and concrete for the floor.

Carlos, 73, dreams of returning to college to finish his education. He started studying when he was young, but the need to earn money at a young age to help his family kept him from consistently attending classes after primary school.

“I would ride my bicycle over a narrow dirt road for an hour to get to school,” Carlos said. “It was good exercise, I was in good shape. I had strong legs. Then I worked for years in a carpenter’s shop and at a gas station.”

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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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Sponsored member Vaishnavi (center) in Hyderabad, India, celebrates the holiday spirit with her parents.
Dec 5 2016

Giving sponsorship as a gift this Christmas

Sponsored member Vaishnavi (center) in Hyderabad, India, celebrates the holiday spirit with her parents.

Sponsored member Vaishnavi (center) in Hyderabad, India, celebrates the holiday spirit with her parents.

At Christmas, many people give charitably in honor of a loved one instead of giving traditional Christmas gifts. For a family member who doesn’t want more stuff, or a friend who loves the idea of sponsorship but is unsure about the financial commitment, giving the gift of sponsorship is a beautiful way to celebrate.

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Nritya School of Indian Dance and Music
Nov 30 2016

Global Block Party celebrates 35 years

We’re so honored that more than 1,000 people celebrated 35 years of service with us on Saturday, Nov. 19 at our Global Block Party. Located at our headquarters in Kansas City, the party was packed with sponsors, neighbors, employees and founding families. The day was a meaningful symbol of the growing Unbound community in Kansas City and around the globe.

Over the course of the crisp, fall afternoon, guests learned about Unbound’s unique model through a staff-created exhibit about our work, listened to speakers and performers, and visited with staff and family members of our founders. From a KC drill team to African traditional dancers, performances were running throughout the event, reflecting the colorful cultures of Unbound from Kansas City to around the globe. Check out some photos from our big day.

The day was opened by local performers Amado Espinoza and Karen Lisondra, who performed traditional Andean music of Bolivia.
See photos from the big day

Wilber, 12, a sponsored child in Guatemala who hopes to be an architect or engineer someday, partly because "Wilber the architect sounds nice!"
Nov 21 2016

35 snapshots of Unbound: 29-35

One of the ways we’ve been celebrating our 35th anniversary is by hearing from sponsored friends and staff around the world. We asked them how Unbound has changed them, what their favorite thing about being sponsored is or what greeting they have for us at this milestone. We’ve featured 35 snapshots of our global community over the past several weeks right here on the blog. Check out the final set of snapshots in the series below, and check out previous posts in the series here!
Yovana, a social worker for Unbound in Guatemala, who deeply appreciates how members of the Unbound community share similar values, regardless of their backgrounds.
Check out the snapshots

Bob Hentzen walks with families in Guatemala in 2009, at the start of his second marathon walk. His wife, Cristina (far right) walks with them.
Nov 16 2016

Did you know: Our co-founder walked 12,000 miles

Bob Hentzen walks with families in Guatemala in 2009, at the start of his second marathon walk. His wife, Cristina (far right) walks with them.

Bob Hentzen walks with families in Guatemala in 2009, at the start of his second marathon walk. His wife, Cristina (far right) walks with them.


By Loretta Shea Kline, managing editor at Unbound

People are capable of more than they think they are.

Our late co-founder Bob Hentzen shared that wisdom with me in a December 2009 interview at the start of his extraordinary walk from Guatemala to Chile, a trek that crossed 12 countries, 18 months and nearly 8,000 miles. He’d answered a question I asked him about parallels between the long haul of the walk and our work with families in poverty.

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