Sep 9 2017

Send us your questions for the program coordinators!

Hear the answers during our livestreaming event


On September 13, at our HQ in Kansas City, Kansas, we’ll be broadcasting our Global Insight Series on Facebook Live!

Unbound program coordinators Hugo Plaza Beltran of Bolivia, Chico Chavajay of Guatemala and Manuel Pineda of Honduras will be answering questions about how the Unbound program works in each of their countries. They understand deeply the joys and challenges of partnering with families living in poverty. Hear from these experts about how sponsorship gives families the opportunity to dream about tomorrow.

We know not everyone can make it to Kansas City, so we’re bringing the event to you. Head over to our Facebook page and submit a question for one of our project coordinators at any time. Then, tune in at 5:30 on September 13 for the countdown to the livestreaming event and you may hear the answer to your question.

Want to attend the event in person? Visit Unbound.org/insightseries to reserve your spot today!

Sep 6 2017

Shared struggle in a storm

Your weekly reflection from Unbound

Updated September 19, 2017

This blog was originally posted in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Since then we have seen additional catastrophic events, including Hurricane Irma and two severe earthquakes in Mexico. At this writing, Puerto Rico is bracing for Hurricane Maria, reminding us, yet again, of the need for ongoing vigilance in the face of nature.

We know that the sentiments expressed below from our friends in the Philippines extend to those impacted by subsequent events in addition to Hurricane Harvey.

Every week we offer a prayerful reflection from a member of the Unbound community. This week our reflection was written by Senior Writer Larry Livingston.

Those impacted by Hurricane Harvey have been very much in our hearts and minds over the past week. We commend to God’s care all our brothers and sisters in the affected areas of Texas and Louisiana as they begin their long road to recovery.

We are mindful, too, of the victims of severe flooding in parts of Africa and Asia, and Tropical Storm Lidia in Mexico. We keep them in our prayers as well, as we do those impacted by a mudslide that took place late last week in an area of Costa Rica where Unbound works. At this writing, we have reports of three sponsored children and their families whose homes have been damaged or destroyed.
Keep reading

Sep 4 2017

Building up potential

Former Zamboanga scholar shares lessons learned from Unbound

Former Unbound scholar Helen wears her police uniform with pride.


In the United States, Labor Day is meant to celebrate the contributions of workers toward the success and prosperity of the country. It’s a day to rest and say thanks for all their hard work.

Unbound communities are also full of hard workers, from moms and social workers to group leaders and scholars. According to former Unbound scholar Helen from the Philippines, being part of the scholar program even helped instill a stronger work ethic in her and her fellow scholars.

Helen is the second youngest of four siblings. While she was never sponsored through Unbound like her sister Rose was, Helen did take part in the Unbound program for two years when she became one of the service scholars for the office in Zamboanga, Philippines.
Keep reading

An graphic promoting Unbound's Global Insight Series.
Sep 2 2017

Unbound is heading to Omaha!

Meet the staff who run our program in Latin America

An graphic promoting Unbound's Global Insight Series.
We’re hosting a variety of events in Omaha, Nebraska from September 15-17. Check out the details below, and pick a day to come see us if you’re in the area!
Read more

An image of a mother in Tanzania with her children.
Aug 30 2017

One big family of parents and children

Your weekly reflection from Unbound

An image of a mother in Tanzania with her children.

Every week we offer a prayerful reflection from a member of the Unbound community. This week our reflection was written by Regional Project Director Ernest Makulilo.

One of the happiest moments of my life was the day I became a parent. Holding my son, Benedikt, gave me new perspective on my life. I completely changed from going about my day-to-day for myself, and began thinking about the future of my child. I appreciated and thanked God for the gift of life.

Read more

An image of a group of preachers who serve Unbound.
Aug 28 2017

After a lifetime of service, they want to do more

Unbound preachers gather in Kansas City

An image of a group of preachers who serve Unbound.

Unbound preachers gather for the annual preachers conference at the Unbound HQ in Kansas City.

By Larry Livingston, senior writer/editor

Last week a group of Catholic priests who travel around the country to preach on behalf of Unbound were at our headquarters in Kansas City for their annual conference. Every summer they join together as a community for a few days of learning and fellowship, and to share stories of their adventures traveling to parishes throughout the U.S.

For those of us who work in Kansas City, this is one of our favorite times of the year. It’s our opportunity to thank them for all the times they drove seven hours to get to that small town in the middle of nowhere in time for Saturday confessions, or spent the night at Gate 23 at DFW because their originating flight was canceled in Philadelphia.

Read more

An image of two women sitting at a table at Unbound.
Aug 26 2017

The heart of Unbound

A student intern's reflection

An image of two women sitting at a table at Unbound.

Selica (right), an Unbound student intern and former sponsored child from Guatemala, interviews Maria, who works in our service center.

For college students, summers are often a time for continued learning through internships. And this summer was a special one at Unbound, as one of our eager, talented student interns was Selica Piloy, a former sponsored child who now attends Cottey College in Nevada, Missouri, just a few hours’ drive from our headquarters in Kansas City. Selica brought her international relations education and her personal passion for journalism to her internship. In this piece, she reflects on her experience of observing the inner workings of a major international nonprofit.

By Selica Piloy, student intern

This summer I had the wonderful opportunity for an internship at Unbound. Working here has always been one of my dreams and now it has come true. The environment here is really lovely. Unbound employees are always helping each other, and the role of each one is very important to the team as a whole. I have seen them working hard every day to accomplish their goals and better serve the sponsored children and families.

I’ve come to understand the daily work of all the different departments at Unbound. All of their efforts together form the veins of Unbound, and I want to take some time to recognize that.
Read more

An image of an elderly man outside his home in a Kenyan slum.
Aug 23 2017

Appreciating the giftedness of elders

Your weekly reflection from Unbound

An image of an elderly man outside his home in a Kenyan slum.
Every week we offer a prayerful reflection from a member of the Unbound community. This week our reflection was written by Managing Editor Loretta Shea Kline.

August 21 was National Senior Citizens Day, an opportunity to honor the elders in our lives and thank them for all they’ve given us.

I think of my 96-year-old mother, Erla, who shows me what it means to age with grace and courage. She has little eyesight left, which limits her in doing everyday tasks and things she enjoys like reading, playing piano and following baseball.

But she doesn’t focus on limits. Instead, she concentrates on what’s still possible for her: listening to an audio book, singing and playing a hymn from memory instead of sheet music, and listening to a baseball game on radio. Her example encourages me to persevere despite obstacles that come my way.

I also think of elders I’ve met in my travels for Unbound. Recently, I met Erastus, a 71-year-old man in Kenya who lost his wife and home in the post-election violence of 2007. He told us how he felt blessed to receive international visitors, and he welcomed me and the other Unbound staff members to his home with a ready smile and an offering of fresh fruit.

He willingly shared his life’s story, from his boyhood and school days in colonial times to working hard as a farmer and experiencing love and loss. He talked repeatedly about the need to be “flexible,” which I took to mean having the capacity to adapt, to be resilient and joyful in the face of sorrow and life’s everyday trials.

We have much to learn from our elders, and in honor of National Senior Citizens Day, let’s be mindful of all the ways they show younger generations how to live life to its fullest. My mother summed up her approach to life by singing for me a verse from one of her favorite hymns, “His Eye Is on the Sparrow.”

I sing because I’m happy,
I sing because I’m free,
For His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.

Read a story about an elderly woman in Guatemala who lives with joy and gratitude amidst hardships.

Please pray

Lord of life, open our eyes and hearts to appreciate the gifts that elders model for us, like contentment. We’re reminded in Matthew 6:26 that true contentment comes from reliance on God: “Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not more important than they?” Grant us insight and humility to learn from the examples of elders, and see them for the blessings they are in our lives. We ask this in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

An image of a woman biking in a park.
Aug 21 2017

A rite of passage turned passion to help Unbound

Reflection from an Unbound Trailblazer

An image of a woman biking in a park.

Jessica Wooden wears her Trailblazer shirt while biking in a Kansas City park.


By Jessica Wooden, online children coordinator and Unbound Trailblazer

I still remember Christmas of 1998, when I was 5 years old. I came into the living room of my grandparents’ house and there it was. A new bike. The handlebars had a foam cover, adorned with grapes. The paint was a shimmering purple. It was beautiful and, more than anything, it was mine.

Riding a bike. I have to admit that the thought of doing this again as I got older scared me at first. The fearless 5-year-old who would get right back up after she had fallen had somehow left me. Regardless, I did try riding again, and it now means so much more to me than it ever did before.
Read more

An image of a home in El Salvador.
Aug 19 2017

‘The families are the reason I continue’

Serving as a social worker in El Salvador's gang-afflicted cities

An image of a home in El Salvador.

A home in El Salvador, typical of the homes Carmen and other Unbound social workers visit on a regular basis.



To celebrate the U.N.-sponsored World Humanitarian Day Aug. 19, Unbound is highlighting inspiring members of our global community who’ve overcome obstacles to help others. Carmen is from El Salvador and works for Unbound as a social worker in 11 communities in Santa Ana, with more than 200 sponsored children and their families. She started with Unbound seven years ago, learning about the organization while working as a caretaker for a sponsored elderly woman. Carmen and her husband have a 16-year-old daughter.

In this interview, conducted by Naresli Calitto, former communications liaison, Carmen shares about her experience working for Unbound amidst the challenges of life in El Salvador. Her name was changed for safety reasons.

Keep reading

To celebrate the U.N.-sponsored World Humanitarian Day Aug. 19, Unbound is highlighting inspiring members of our global community who’ve overcome obstacles to help others. Carmen is from El Salvador and works for Unbound as a social worker in 11 communities in Santa Ana, with more than 200 sponsored children and their families. She started with Unbound seven years ago, learning […]

Around the world with Unbound