Leonila (left), 67, a sponsored elder in Philippines who has six children and used to be a massage therapist, and Esperanza (right), 85, a sponsored elder in Philippines who is thankful for her co-sponsored elders because one of them loaned her a dress for this photo shoot.
Oct 24 2016

35 snapshots of Unbound: 1-7

One of the ways we are celebrating our 35th anniversary coming up on Nov. 20 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’re featuring 35 snapshots of our global community over the next several weeks leading up to Nov. 20, right here on the blog. Check out the first seven snapshots in the series, and stay tuned!

Sava, 22, a sponsored youth in Kenya who is studying cosmetology
Check out the photos

Carmen Alicia Perez has been an Unbound social worker in Guatemala for 22 years and is truly making a difference in the world.
Oct 21 2016

Social worker still making a difference after 22 years


It’s Unbound’s 35th anniversary, and many members of our staff have been with us for most of those three-and-a-half decades. Carmen has been a social worker with Unbound in Guatemala for 22 years. She took some time to share her story with Luis Cocón, Unbound communications liaison.
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Oct 19 2016

35 years of service

Unbound 35 years of service
What started in 1981 with our five co-founders and their Christmas card lists has bloomed into a global humanitarian community that impacts hundreds of thousands of families around the world. It’s Unbound’s 35th Anniversary Nov. 20, and we want you to celebrate with us! Follow along during these next five weeks as we share stories about our history and all the amazing people that make up the Unbound community. We guarantee you’ll learn something new.

The story of Bob’s walks might be one of those new things. In 2011, at age 75, Unbound co-founder Bob Hentzen finished a walk from Guatemala to Chile as a show of solidarity with the people of Unbound, after having walked from Kansas City to Guatemala 15 years earlier. Upon completing the second walk, Bob said, “The adventure is just beginning.”

That’s the spirit with which we celebrate our 35th anniversary, honoring our past and looking forward to the adventures ahead. You’ll learn more about Bob’s walks in coming weeks, along with reflections from sponsored children and elders and their families. And you’ll learn about how the organization bloomed over the years from the very first sponsored child to supporting 310,000 children and elders.

Follow along with us here on the blog, on Facebook and Instagram, and look for a special issue of the Living Unbound magazine in your mailbox in the coming weeks. We hope you’ll stay tuned and celebrate with us.

Millicent, the mother of a sponsored child in Kenya, outside the small shop she runs to support her family.
Oct 17 2016

A path to freedom through participation

Millicent, the mother of a sponsored child in Kenya, outside the small shop she runs to support her family.

Millicent, the mother of a sponsored child in Kenya, outside the small shop she runs to support her family.

On Oct. 17, 1987, more than 1,000 people gathered in Paris at the site where the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights had been signed 39 years earlier. They came to publicly affirm their belief that being forced to live in extreme poverty is a violation of those essential rights. Five years later, the United Nations formally designated Oct. 17 as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.

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Biko is a sweet Filipino dish made using glutinous, or sticky, rice.
Oct 14 2016

A feast for the taste buds and spirit

Biko is a sweet Filipino dish made using glutinous, or sticky, rice.

Biko is a sweet Filipino dish made using glutinous, or sticky, rice.

Agriculture, especially rice, is the main source of income for many residents of the San Mateo, Rizal, area in the Philippines. And they don’t just harvest the rice — they also have many creative, and tasty, ways to serve it up.

TThe residents of San Mateo even have a celebration dedicated to rice and the many dishes made from it. The Kakanin Festival of San Mateo is on Sept. 9 each year, and coincides with the feast day of San Mateo’s patroness, Nuestra Señora de Aranzazu.

There are more than 1,000 children, youth and elders sponsored through Unbound in the San Mateo area, and each year many participate in the Kakanin Festival parade along with their families and Unbound staff members. After winning the title of Miss Barangay this year, sponsored youth Xena Mae rode in a float as one of the contestants to go on to the Miss San Mateo pageant. Though she wasn’t crowned Miss San Mateo, she was awarded for being the most eloquent of the contestants.

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Luciana, a 6-year-old sponsored child from Kenya, works on a Christmas card for her sponsor, JoAnne in Kansas.
Oct 12 2016

Don’t forget to mail your holiday greetings!

Share the joy of Christmas.
Christmas is right around the corner, and soon our sponsors will be receiving Christmas cards in their mailboxes from their sponsored friends. Each year, sponsored friends send their greetings at Christmas as a special way to express their gratitude.

Christmas cards give sponsored friends like Luciana (below) a chance to share the joy of the season with their sponsors.

Luciana, a 6-year-old sponsored child from Kenya, works on a Christmas card for her sponsor, JoAnne in Kansas.

Luciana, a 6-year-old sponsored child from Kenya, works on a Christmas card for her sponsor, JoAnne in Kansas.

Many of our sponsored friends start on their Christmas cards in the summer to make sure they reach their sponsors in time.

While it might not take quite as long for you to create a card, we do recommend mailing holiday greetings by the end of October. This leaves plenty of time for the card to reach the local office that serves your sponsored friend, be translated and then hand delivered by our office staff.

Please remember that our international offices are not able to accept packages. For more information about this policy, please contact us at (800) 875-6564 or mail@unbound.org.

Want to avoid the lines at the post office? Check out our eLetter feature.

  • Go to Unbound.org/eletter
  • Log in to your Unbound.org account (if you’ve never logged in, it’s easy to sign up)
  • Select a template, enter your message, attach a photo if you’d like and send!
  • Unbound staff in your friend’s local office will print the letter and deliver it to your friend

Sending an eLetter is fast, simple and doesn’t require postage. And it’s a great way to send your friend a holiday greeting.

Gilberta (front), her mother, Cristina (center), and sisters Nicolasa (left) and Juana are a close-knit family.
Oct 10 2016

Girl wants to be a lawyer to help women like her mom


On this fifth annual International Day of the Girl Child, we join in calling attention to global efforts to ensure equality, offer opportunities and provide safe environments for the world’s 1.1 billion girls, so they may grow up happy, healthy and ready to meet the future.

For this observance, we highlight one girl’s story and her future goals.

Read about Gilberta

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Oct 7 2016

With gratitude for our Unbound preachers


By Larry Livingston, senior writer/editor

My original job when I first came to Unbound involved working with the priests who travel the U.S., preaching in churches to help us find new sponsors. A few years ago I was traveling from Kansas City to Dallas to support Father Anthony Nguyen, who was preaching for Unbound for the first time that weekend. Father Anthony would fly in shortly from California, where he lived, and we would drive together to the parish we were visiting in southern Oklahoma.

As I walked around the airport waiting for Father Anthony’s flight to arrive, I was surprised to see Father Cyrus Gallagher, another Unbound preacher. He was traveling from Denver, where he lived, to a church in Washington state, and was hurrying to make his connecting flight. We greeted each other briefly and on he went.

Not two minutes later, while still thinking about the coincidence of running into an Unbound priest at the Dallas airport, who should I see but yet another of our preachers, Father Marty Holler, getting off the tram from a different terminal. Father Marty, who lives in Ohio, was traveling to preach at a church in Indianapolis.

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During a Skype call with Unbound staff members Andrew Kling, Joe Sundermeyer, Melissa Velazquez and Barclay Martin, G.W. Carver Elementary School sixth-grader Anahy asks questions on behalf of her class.
Oct 5 2016

Teaching a global perspective


Teachers serve an important role in society. Along with parents, they have the enormous task of preparing the next generation with the knowledge and skills needed to be successful adults. We celebrate these individuals today on World Teacher’s Day.

Mark De Young teaches sixth grade at G.W. Carver Elementary School in Yuma, Arizona. Mark has been teaching for 13 years, but in the past two years he’s introduced a philanthropic project for his students to help them gain a global perspective.

“Students also have the opportunity to use their skills [that they’ve learned in class] in a meaningful fashion,” Mark said. Through this project, they learned that there is a purpose to the persuasive writing skills that I taught them.”

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A mother and daughter smile for the camera in Kenya.
Oct 3 2016

Celebrating health on National Child Health Day

A mother and her daughter smile in front of their home in Kenya.

Cynthia (right), pictured with her mother, Pamela, has been sponsored by Donna in Arkansas since 2012. Sponsorship benefits help children like Cynthia stay healthy through good nutrition and durable homes.


Families around the world work hard to keep their children healthy and Unbound is committed to partnering with them. From daily nutrition to recovery from major illnesses, the health benefits that result from Unbound sponsorship are many. On National Child Health Day Oct. 3, we celebrate the efforts of the Unbound community in improving the health of children around the world.
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Families around the world work hard to keep their children healthy and Unbound is committed to partnering with them. From daily nutrition to recovery from major illnesses, the health benefits that result from Unbound sponsorship are many. On National Child Health Day Oct. 3, we celebrate the efforts of the Unbound community in improving the health of children around the […]

Around the world with Unbound