Tag: nonprofit

Nov 20 2015

Let kids be kids


Today is Universal Children’s Day. The United Nations chose November 20 as the observance date to mark the day on which the Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1959. It was created to make a promise to the children of the world — that we would do everything in our power to protect and promote their rights to survive and thrive, learn and grow, and that we would make their voices heard and help them reach their full potential.
Read more

Oct 14 2015

What I learned about the cycle of poverty

Gumercinda, a 79-year-old sponsored elder in El Salvador, and Gustavo Aybar, Unbound communications services manager.

Gumercinda, a 79-year-old sponsored elder in El Salvador, and Gustavo Aybar, Unbound communications services manager.

By Gustavo Adolfo Aybar, communications services manager for Unbound Sponsor Services

As a native Dominican, raised in the United States the majority of my life, I believed my summer vacations, plus my connection to the island — both personal and through my studies — kept me culturally aware and prepared to serve as an ambassador for families struggling in poverty. That was before I traveled to El Salvador to participate in an Unbound staff awareness trip.
Read more

Aug 21 2015

10 ways Unbound works to #UpgradeYourWorld

Sponsored children and their classmates stand outside their school in Guatemala.

Sponsored children and their classmates stand outside their school in Guatemala.

Microsoft Windows recently launched its #UpgradeYourWorld campaign to celebrate nonprofits doing good work around the world. They’ve selected nine and they’re searching for one more international organization to fill the last spot.

Unbound wants to be the 10th nonprofit picked to win $500,000 to support our work — part of a $10 million Microsoft Windows investment.

The 10th organization will be chosen by the people and the number of votes collected via Twitter, Instagram and Facebook so we need your help!

Here are 10 reasons why Unbound should be one of Microsoft Windows’ global nonprofits.
Read more

Aug 17 2015

Unbound in Valparaiso, Chile

The Unbound office in Valparaiso, Chile.

The Unbound office in Valparaiso, Chile.

Amanda Heter, Ximena Pacheco-Diaz and Paul Pearce, employees at Unbound headquarters in Kansas, traveled to Chile to meet the Unbound team in Valparaiso and to meet the families in our program. They shared a few highlights from their trip, photos and told us about some of the things happening in Chile.
Read more

sponsored girls and scholars in India.
Jun 10 2015

Program evaluation: ‘What’s in it for me?’

Melissa, center, interviews the mother of a sponsored child, left, with a social worker for Unbound in Guatemala.

Melissa, center, interviews the mother of a sponsored child, left, with a social worker for Unbound in Guatemala.

By Melissa Velazquez, international evaluation and systems manager

A few years back, I sat with a group of local Unbound staff in our office in the Dominican Republic to talk about program evaluation. These individuals work day in and day out with limited resources to connect with sponsored individuals and their families, ensuring that initiatives and activities are moving forward in honest, sustainable and empowering ways.

They have a lot on their plate, and that day they had one question for me: “Why should we care about evaluation?”
Read more

Jorge sitting in his favorite spot.
Jun 1 2015

‘Thank you for what you are about to be in my life’

Jorge in his favorite spot.

Jorge sitting in his favorite spot.

Jorge’s favorite spot is the hammock on his front porch.

“I spend the afternoon right here,” he said. “I read the Bible — I stay here until about 8 at night. We eat something, and we go to bed.”

Jorge is 68 years old and lives in Guatemala. Those relaxing afternoons in the hammock are much needed after his long mornings selling clothes in the marketplace.

Jorge and his wife, Reyna, wake up at 5 a.m. every day and try to sell clothes to provide for their daily needs. They may earn $4 or $5 on a good day, but many times they can’t sell anything, leaving them with no money for food or transportation home from the market.

Read more

Between Two Furnaces
Feb 25 2015

Spread the word about Unbound


by Cara VanNice, communications director for Unbound

March 5, 2015

UPDATE: We did it! We’re officially DoGooders! Our video won in the Funny for Good category – and we could not have done it without you. You helped get Unbound’s name out there and in front of future sponsors. Many, many thanks to everyone who voted and shared this video with others. 

February 25, 2015

Hello, Unbound community!

Unbound is a finalist in this year’s YouTube DoGooder awards, which celebrate the best in nonprofit videos. This is an incredible opportunity and we need your help.

Thousands of nonprofits enter this competition every year, so we were ecstatic to hear that one of our videos is a top four finalist in the Funny for Good category. Our little video is featured alongside entries from groups like the American Heart Association, the Humane Society and Teach for America.

Previous winners have been featured in major online news outlets and gained a lot of awareness for their causes. We would love the opportunity to be featured in front of those wide audiences. The more people Unbound reaches, the more people we can help.

Public voting determines the winner in this amazing opportunity. This is where you come in!

But wait, what video?
In December, we created a spoof of a highly popular web series called “Between Two Ferns” – an Emmy award winning online comedy series hosted by actor Zach Galifianakis. Haven’t seen it? Watch an example episode here. Our version is entitled “Between Two Furnaces” because, in decidedly nonprofit fashion, we filmed it in our warehouse.

Between Two Furnaces

Want to help?

You can help Unbound by voting for “Between Two Furnaces” daily through March 3rd. It’s really easy. Anyone with a Facebook, Twitter or Gmail account can vote. Here’s how:

Help us get the word out. The Unbound community is an amazing thing to be a part of. Thank you for all you do to make it so. With this opportunity, we hope to find lots of new sponsors to join us.

Happy voting!

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.”

Keep reading

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.”

Keep reading

Sponsor a child
Sep 29 2014

“Disability is not inability”

Joseph teaches math to students in classes eight and nine.

Joseph teaches math to students in classes eight and nine.

Joseph, 22, is a sponsored student in Kenya. When he was 2, Joseph’s parents noticed that he wasn’t able to do some of the same things other children his age could. By the time he was 3, he was unable to walk or move around.

His parents took him to a local hospital, where he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder that impairs movement and is caused by brain damage during development.

Joseph underwent surgery to help straighten his legs. He also received physical therapy and used crutches for some time. In all, he spent four years in the hospital being treated for his condition.

Joseph was finally able to join primary school at the age of 7. He was one of the best students in the class.

Joseph’s parents found it hard to get by with Joseph’s medical expenses, four children in school and no steady income. Unbound staff in their area learned of the family’s situation, and in 2002 Joseph was sponsored. The support he received from his sponsor meant his parents could continue paying for his education.

Joseph’s schooling, however,  was interrupted in fourth grade when he had to have another surgery.. He spent another year in the hospital, which meant he had to repeat fourth grade. Despite the difficulties, he continued to excel when he returned to school and even managed to score highly on the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education.

With his high scores, Joseph received a scholarship from the Jomo Kenyatta Foundation, which combined with his sponsorship benefits meant his parents could send him to a better secondary school.

The first secondary school Joseph attended wasn’t the best fit. His condition made it difficult for him to write, which made it hard to keep up with the other students. But it was the negative treatment he received from some of his classmates that was the biggest challenge.

Seeing his struggles, Joseph’s parents decided to transfer him to a school that specialized in teaching students with disabilities. Being among others who faced similar challenges boosted Joseph’s self-confidence.

Joseph, from Kenya

Joseph walks around his classroom full of students.

Joseph recently graduated secondary school with good grades, and plans to pursue a degree in business administration from Kenyatta University. While he waits to get into the university, Joseph puts his time to good use.

He volunteers at his old primary school teaching math and Kiswahili, and he helps out at the Unbound office near his home.

When giving advice to younger students, he keeps it simple. “Disability is not inability,” Joseph said. “Work hard and stay focused.”

Donations to Health help provide equipment and therapeutic devices to sponsored friends with disabilities, along with many other health related initiatives.