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.
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
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.
Gilberta (front), her mother, Cristina (center), and sisters Nicolasa (left) and Juana are a close-knit family.
Gilberta heads to school with her book and pink backpack. “I love school,” she said.
For this observance, we highlight one girl’s story and her future goals.
Read about Gilberta
By Larry Livingston, senior writer/editor
Fr. Bob Hasenkamp helps a potential sponsor after a Mass.
A group photo of the Unbound preachers gathered for the 2014 Unbound Preachers’ Conference.
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.
Mark De Young, a teacher at G.W. Carver Elementary School in Yuma, Arizona, created a philanthropy project for his students to work on so they can gain a broader global perspective.
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.
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.”
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.
Unbound’s office building in Antipolo, Philippines.
A cake designed to look like the Unbound Antipolo office building.
As we reported in 2015, our program in Antipolo, Philippines, built a new office space and community center. The building project was a community effort, with fathers of sponsored children employed as construction workers, along with others from the local community, and several Antipolo alumni lent their expertise to the project.
The Unbound community in Antipolo recently held a celebration to bless the new building. Father Richard Magararu officiated the blessing, and several members from the community also offered their own prayers in Tagalog, the language spoken by many Filipinos.
Here are their prayers, along with an English translation.
Read the prayers
Fania Carnero, second from right, visits the homes of Unbound sponsored members with other staff members from Lima, Peru.
Fania with late Unbound co-founder Bob Hentzen in 2010.
By Gloria Yanes, project specialist in international programs at Unbound
I would like to introduce Fania Carnero, a staff member from our office in Lima, Peru.
Fania started working at Unbound in January 2002 as a secretary, and since then she has been learning and adapting to any changes and accepting the suggestions and comments from Unbound. She is now in charge of the correspondence department for the Lima office. The correspondence department handles letters to and from sponsored friends and helps answer any specific inquiries sponsors may have regarding their sponsored friends.
By Gloria Yanes, project specialist in international programs at Unbound I would like to introduce Fania Carnero, a staff member from our office in Lima, Peru. Fania started working at Unbound in January 2002 as a secretary, and since then she has been learning and adapting to any changes and accepting the suggestions and comments from Unbound. She is now […]