I am pleased to endorse this ministry and proud to belong to their community of sponsors. I would encourage any pastor to invite a priest from Unbound to his parish, as I would any member of the Catholic faithful to become a sponsor.
— Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann
Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas
In his apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel), Pope Francis says, “In all places and circumstances, Christians, with the help of their pastors, are called to hear the cry of the poor. . . This is why I want a Church which is poor and for the poor. They have much to teach us. Not only do they share in the sensus fidei (sense of the faith), but in their difficulties they know the suffering Christ. We need to let ourselves be evangelized by them….”
For more than 35 years, Unbound has brought hope to these individuals, families and communities living in poverty in the 18 countries where we work. Founded in 1981 by lay Catholics acting on the Gospel call to serve the poor, we have grown into a movement of more than 250,000 sponsors supporting more than 300,000 children, youth and aging individuals around the world.
Our mission is to walk with the poor and marginalized of the world.
We provide personal attention and direct benefits to children, youth, aging and their families so they may live with dignity, achieve their desired potential and participate fully in society.
We invite people of good will to live in daily solidarity with the world’s poor through one-to-one sponsorship.
We build community by fostering relationships of mutual respect, understanding and support that are culturally diverse, empowering and without religious or other prejudice.
Grounded in the Gospel call to serve the poor, Unbound is a lay Catholic organization working with persons of all faith traditions to create a worldwide community of compassion and service.
Our core values
We are grounded in the Gospel call to serve the poor.
Dignity of the Person
Recognizing the God-given dignity of each person is essential to sincere, lasting, loving relationships.
Integrity and Accountability
Honesty and transparency are necessary to operate an efficient and effective organization.
A relationship of mutual respect between sponsor and sponsored person is central to Unbound's mission.
Our memberships include:
National Catholic Council for Hispanic Ministry
National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry
Unbound (previously known as Christian Foundation for Children and Aging), founded in 1981, is listed in the Official Catholic Directory under Professional Organizations and Associations.
What we do
Our unique style of sponsorship is effective because project coordinators and staff members listen to our sponsored members and their families, then tailor benefits and services to meet their specific needs. In many projects, parents of sponsored children are given opportunities to participate in skills training or livelihood initiatives, so that they can begin to rely less on sponsorship and more on their own abilities to provide for their families.
Through letters, photographs and prayer, sponsors and their sponsored friends walk together in solidarity with each other.
How the weekend works
Our priests are available for all weekend services to assist or to fill in for an absent priest.
Our priest's homily connects with the Sunday Scripture and the social teachings of the Catholic Church.
We cover all costs, including travel, and no collections are taken up.
All of our priests are in good standing with their bishops and religious superiors.
Spanish-speaking bilingual priests are available.
What pastors say
"I was away during the weekend of the visit, but my inquiries revealed that the visiting priest did so well explaining the program and how it can help enhance the faith of any sponsor. I really thank you for devoting your time and talents for poor kids and aging from various developing countries. It is a very difficult apostolate but the impact/effect is tremendous as the beneficiaries find new life and feel God's love around them."
— Father Michael C. Mbonu, Pastor
St. Edward Church, Fairfield, Ill.
"We've been very lucky here at St. Gabriel’s Parish to have welcomed priests from Unbound on a few occasions over the last 8 years. They’ve educated people about our faith and putting that faith into action through service. Not just locally, but globally. As Catholics we are responsible for spreading the message of Christ to the entire world. Unbound is one good way to do that."
— Father Dennis O'Rourke, Pastor
St. Gabriel's Parish, Phoenix, Ariz.
Where does Jesus send us? There are no borders; no limits. He sends us to everyone.
– Pope Francis
Highly rated stewardship
92.7 percent of Unbound's expenses go toward program support. Unbound consistently meets and exceeds the standards of third-party organizations that evaluate charities.