Learn about the impact of COVID-19 on the global Unbound community.

March 18, 2020

Unbound community update: pandemic response


Elsa, a mother of two sponsored children, visits the Unbound office in Quezon City, Philippines, for assistance preparing for quarantine.

The COVID-19 pandemic is causing significant concerns and disruptions around the world, including many countries where Unbound sponsors and families served by our programs live. During times of crisis, populations with limited resources, like the families of children who are sponsored through Unbound, face substantial challenges.

Elsa, a mother of two sponsored children in Quezon City, Philippines, recently visited the Unbound offices for assistance buying food and medicine in preparation for a quarantine.

“I’m actually worried about the panic buying that’s happening now,” Elsa said. “We will not be able to buy for our needs anymore because it’s out of stock. Thank God Unbound thinks about how we will be able to buy things for our own sake.”

Each year Unbound delivers more than $100 million in personalized support to children, elders and families living in extreme poverty in Latin America, Asia and Africa. Unbound will continue to deliver support during this disruption through funds transferred to individual accounts electronically. Benefits will be held for families if banking operations are temporarily halted.

Unbound is practicing the following precautions to reduce risks among sponsored individuals and families in our programs, Unbound staff and sponsors:

  • Daily check-ins: Our international staff based in Kansas City is coordinating daily with our program staff in the countries where we work to offer support and monitor the situation in each country. Local staff are implementing a tailored response based on the individual conditions in each community.
  • Suspension of travel: All international travel has been suspended indefinitely. Visits to sponsored friends in person, whether on our awareness trips or on individual sponsor visits, have been postponed until further notice.
  • Social distancing: At our Kansas City headquarters, many on our staff are teleworking in support of social distancing guidelines, and we have increased measures to support the safety of staff continuing to work in the office on critical functions.

Unbound staff in the Kansas City office are focused on meeting immediate and urgent needs, which may result in standard inquiries taking additional time.

Things you can do

  • Email: Consider emailing us instead of calling to avoid long wait times on hold.
  • Go online: If you haven’t already, register at Unbound.org where you can manage your account and stay informed.
  • Use our eLetter Feature: Write or send a photo to your sponsored friend using the eLetter feature at Unbound.org. Once restrictions are lifted, we’ll deliver your message of encouragement.