December 18, 2019
At Unbound, 2019 was a year full of exciting new initiatives, accolades and change for the organization.
1. We’ve Sponsored Elders for 35 Years
Unbound celebrated its 35th year of working with elders. Through the elder program, more than 66,000 older adults have been to able to live out the later years of their lives with dignity. Forbes.com highlighted Unbound’s work with elders in a July 2019 story.
2. Unbound Moms Mapped Out Their Futures
Unbound mothers in India used a tradition called kolam to help create a map of their community. This mapping project helped more than 5,000 mothers in our program decide which businesses to start and where to set up shop. Their story of creativity and courage was featured by Reuters in August 2019.
3. Colorado Teen Walked for Water
Inspired by her sponsored friend Rose in Kenya, 16-year-old Jennifer from Colorado has raised more than $50,000 through a variety of fundraisers, including her annual Walk for Water event. This September, her hometown newspaper The Daily Sentinel followed Jennifer on her walk.
4. Fueling Families: A New Platform
After 38 years of successfully working with families at the household level, Unbound began applying the lessons learned to entire communities through its new Agents of Change platform. Agents of Change allows donors to support local solutions to poverty through grants of $500. These grants are used by parent groups to address problems that exist in their communities.
5. Top-rated, Again!
Unbound maintained its status as the highest-rated child sponsorship organization in the United States. Devoting more than 92 percent of expenditures to program support was one of several reasons for the high ratings we received on CharityWatch, GuideStar USA, Charity Navigator and more.
6. Hometown Love: Best of KC
The Pitch, an independent source for news and culture in Kansas City, named Unbound to its Best of KC 2019 list. “Rather than sending out aid in a uniform, cookie-cutter type of way, Unbound asks each family about its predicaments and goals, then tailors its resources toward those specific needs through a direct cash-transfer system. Ultimately, Unbound has found, this practice gives families a better shot at achieving self-sufficiency," The Pitch said.
7. Special Delivery: Unbound Elders Saw Their Stories in Print
In 2018, one of Unbound’s proudest moments was its collaboration with Pope Francis on “Sharing the Wisdom of Time,” a book featuring the stories of 23 sponsored elders and one former sponsored youth. This year, Unbound elders received their copies of the book.
8. Catholic Digest Went Back to Our Roots
“Of course, it didn’t happen all at once, but slowly, step-by-step, a multimillion-dollar international network was built.” This year Catholic Digest shared the story of our founders and their vision for challenging poverty in an innovative and personalized way.
9. Unbound Elders Saw the Ocean for the First Time
Their whole lives they’d dreamed of the sea, but it was only a dream until someone listened. This year, more than 30 Unbound elders from the landlocked city of Medellin, Colombia, traveled to see the ocean for the first time. Unbound’s unique elder program helps aging adults fight isolation and experience fellowship through recreational activities.
10. It was the Best Giving Tuesday Ever!
Unbound celebrated its single highest day of online donations on Giving Tuesday, receiving over $145,000 on Dec. 3.