Category Archives: Sponsor an aging friend

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.

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, a sponsored child in India.

Click here to follow the journey of a letter!

Jan 26 2015

Help a 68-year-old woman achieve her dream


Hortensia enjoys reading the Bible, and reads it every night before going to bed.

Horetensia lives in a small town to the west of Guatemala’s capital with her husband, Victor. At 68, she has a clear dream for her future.

“I dream of living my elder years with good health, and I dream of not having to work so hard anymore,” Horetensia said. Laughing, she added, “I no longer have the strength to work hard; it’s not that I turned lazy.”

Hortensia has been working hard all her life. She and her husband started their family in Guatemala City more than 40 years ago. He worked as an auto mechanic, and she had a small business selling tortillas. They had 10 children, though two of them passed away in infancy.

When Victor started having strokes, which made him lose the ability to walk for some time, the burden of supporting their large family fell solely on Hortensia.

Read more about Hortensia

Sponsor a child
Jan 23 2015

Woman reconnects with past by sponsoring a child

Unbound awareness trip

From left: Maritza, Karla’s mother, Karla, Mercedes and Marlene Garcia de Ramirez, an Unbound social worker in El Salvador.

The people who sponsor through Unbound are a rather diverse group. Some sponsors are children still in grade school, while others have been retired for years. They represent an array of backgrounds, ethnicities, occupations and beliefs. And while the majority of our sponsors were born and raised in the United States, many were not.

Mercedes Lima has been a sponsor for 21 years. Though she has called Florida home for quite some time, she is originally from a small town in El Salvador.

“I grew up in a very poor place,” Mercedes said, “that’s why I understand the suffering and sadness when you don’t have an opportunity to move forward.”

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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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Sister Dinora and Sister Marta
Jan 16 2015

Called to do good

Sister Dinora and Sister Marta

Sister Dinora (left) and Sister Marta share their stories of compassion and commitment.

By Alley Stonestreet, bilingual communications manager

As an interpreter, I know the cardinal rules: don’t show emotion, use proper pronouns, don’t say “he said” or “she said,” always use “I.” It’s hard to remember when you’re interpreting on the spot, but important to keep the conversation directed to the right people.

One of the first rules they teach you is not to get caught up in the emotion of what you’re interpreting.

I broke that rule for the first time recently.

Find out why

Thomas and Francisca
Jan 5 2015

Sponsor, elder help each other ‘continue on’

Thomas and Francisca

Sponsor Tom Slattery greets his sponsored friend Francisca on an awareness trip to the Philippines.

Tom Slattery remembers the day he first saw a picture of Francisca, the elderly woman he sponsors in the Philippines.

He and his wife decided to sponsor someone after hearing a priest speak about Unbound at church one weekend. Tom’s wife, Nancy, chose a child. Tom picked Francisca after seeing her photo because “everybody was gravitating to the young people,” and he thought an older person would need support as well.

That was in 1996, when Francisca was 84. She’s 103 now.

“She is a beautiful human being,” Tom said. “She has meant a lot to me over the years, and to my wife.”

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Jan 2 2015

‘To the stars through difficulty’


By Alley Stonestreet, bilingual communications manager

There’s something about Unbound that has always puzzled me.

Not about how sponsorship works better when both parties involved write to each other. Not about where the money goes. Not about why this works. But why Kansas?

Don’t get me wrong, I love Kansas. Midwestern values, sunflowers, Jayhawks, BBQ — I love it all. But as the hub of an international organization that brings hope and empowerment to kids and elderly across the world? Probably would not have been my first thought.

I’m not the only one to ask this question. It seems like such an interesting location for the headquarters to be. Of all places in the country or the world, how did Kansas get in the mix? Other than the founders being from the area, how did Kansas become the right place for Unbound?

After a year of working here, it finally hit me: Kansas’ state motto, “Ad astra per aspera,” or “To the stars through difficulty.”

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Dec 31 2014

Try these New Year’s resolutions in 2015


New Year’s resolutions have been around for thousands of years, in some form or another. There are some modern classics, like losing weight or kicking a bad habit, but we have a few you might want to add to your list in 2015.

Check out the resolutions