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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Unbound

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Children & Youth Services, Education, Scholarships, Scholarships & Student Financial Aid, Youth Development Programs

Mission: Unbound partners with families living in poverty, empowering them to become self-sufficient and fulfill their desired potential.

Results: Sponsored members partner with Unbound to make program and benefit decisions that help meet their basic needs and develop their potential over the course of their time in the program, sometimes 18 years or more. Outcomes vary by location and may include educational attainment, leadership, improved health and nutrition status, dignified housing, skill development and increased income through livelihood opportunities for families. Through Unbound’s sponsorship program, families have more choices in their lives and are empowered, over time, to confront the challenges of poverty and work toward a better life. Sponsorship helps children achieve a level of education that prepares them to compete with peers for jobs and be educated community members, parents and leaders. At a global level, at the point of leaving the program, 75 percent of sponsored children achieved a level of schooling comparative to or above national peer averages, according to data gathered from 2011-2014. This means that Unbound students — who experience marginalization based on economic, social and geographic factors — were able to compete and excel alongside students from all socioeconomic brackets and areas within their countries. Sponsorship impacts the sponsored child and the entire family. Unbound’s direct work through a personalized benefit model and parent groups means families are able to best allocate resources for their children and direct how the program supports their development as families. As of September 2014, 77 percent of all Unbound sponsored members participated in the program through small groups. These groups provide the space for families to have a voice in the program and be part of a supportive community, addressing two significant components of poverty: lack of choices and isolation. In 2016, a pilot evaluation measuring the empowerment among sponsored mothers in Kampala, Uganda, and Antipolo, Philippines, engaged mothers who are waiting for their children to be sponsored as a comparison group. In this pilot, Unbound sponsored parents in both the Philippines and Uganda displayed a stronger level of ownership of psychological assets — such as happiness, control, goal setting or self-esteem — than the wait-list parents did. There was strong evidence that the Unbound sponsored parents more often took advantage of the opportunity to make choices for themselves, their families and their communities. This evaluation was adapted and rolled out on a global scale in 2017. In a 2013 qualitative evaluation of the Unbound sponsorship and scholarship program in the Philippines, almost all participants had achieved a university degree and many had also completed a graduate- level education. Alumni, on average three years out of the program, were pursuing careers from teaching to nursing and accounting to architectural design. Most were employed on a full-time salary basis.

Target demographics: children, families and elders overcome the challenges of poverty

Direct beneficiaries per year: more than 300,000 children, families and elders with needs such as education, food, health care, clothing, housing improvements and skills training.

Geographic areas served: 18 countries in Latin America, Asia and Africa

Programs: sponsorship of children and elders, youth scholarships, disaster assistance, micro-loans, skills training for parents and more.

Community Stories

215 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Joe B.9

Donor

Rating: 5

Our family learned about Unbound during a presentation by a couple involved with the Charity after Church.

We sponsor 2 children. The 2 children are of similar age of our 2 oldest kids. It has been fun to learn about them, their families, and to see them grow. Unbound also supports seniors, which helps poor seniors as they age.

Unbound makes it easy to write letter online. They provide translated letters from the sponsor children and or families - depending on the age of the child being sponsored. We've also received pictures, which are fun to get.

Unbound keeps cost low to deliver 93+% of donations to the families. I am impressed with their philosophy to empower the families in directing the money to how it is most impactful. They promote education and betterment of the community. They are making a difference and helping promote a greater understanding of one another.

i look forward to supporting this charity for many more years. If you haven't, please consider supporting Unbound's mission.

Thanks,
Joe

Donor

Rating: 5

I've been an Unbound supporter and donor since 2017 when I heard a missionary priest in church talk about this wonderful program that helps give poor children and elderly the chance at a better life through financial support and encouragement. Having no children myself, I felt called, and after Mass I went over to the table and saw pictures of all the beautiful children. I tell you it was not easy choosing just one, but it's all I could do. And so I sponsored my first child, from Colombia, and we have been writing back and forth every since. I enjoy receiving pictures of him every year and seeing how he is growing up. It gives me much joy to know I can do a little something to give a child a better life. May God bless all the poor children around the world. Thank you Unbound for all the good you do, God bless you!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been an Unbound sponsor for 12 years. I travelled to 5 countries with Unbound's mission awareness week to meet my Unbound friends.
What a wonderful experience. The local Unbound staff works with our sponsored friends to see that our contributions are wisely spent. Each sponsored person was delightful and grateful for the financial.and moral support.
UNBOUND IS THE BEST.
Diane
Clearwater Fl


2 Lillian A.1

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a sponsor for more than 30 years and a volunteer for more than 10 years. It has been an honor to sponsor friends from Chile, Honduras, Nicaragua, Rep. Dominicana & Perú. It was very rewarding experience to visit twice my friends in Nicaragua and to visit the Unbound headquarters in Kansas to meet many of their employees and volunteers.

Mary Lovee V.

Donor

Rating: 5

My second niece Bridgette has the most beautiful heart. It's because of her that I befriended Elizabeth from Ecuador through Unbound about six years ago.

When I lived closer, I used to go to the same parish as Bridgette, my older sister and her family. One day at Mass, a priest from Unbound was speaking of the children and elders needing help. Bridgette and I were looking at the photos after Mass and she asked me if I would let her help me pick out "my child." (How can you say "no" to a sweet then eight-year-old niece? I've never learned how :-)).

Bridgee thought Elizabeth was a good fit for me because we both had brown eyes and hair, she has the same middle name as her big sis/my goddaughter and she (Bridgee) and Elizabeth are about the same age.

It's been almost six years ago now since I've befriended Elizabeth and it's been such a blessing to exchange letters and photos with her, watch her grow up and succeed, and help her and her family through Unbound. Fellow aunts, be sure to listen to those wise nieces in your lives, especially those with big hearts like Bridgette's :-)

Donor

Rating: 5

We have been sponsors with Unbound for more than 20 years. This incredible organization has enabled us to truly make a difference and to follow our sponsored child from toddlerhood to adulthood. After our sponsored child graduated from the program, we chose to sponsor another young girl and an elder.

lisahendey

Donor

Rating: 5

Our family has been blessed to sponsor with Unbound since 2015. We sponsor a child in the Philippines and an elder in India. Additionally, I have traveled on three Sponsor Awareness trips with Unbound to see their work firsthand. I can't say enough not only about the character and excellence of Unbound in their shepherding of our donated resources, but also about their role in helping our family come into closer relationship and solidarity with other families around the world. Highly recommend!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

We have sponsored a child in Guatemala for the past 10 years. She is now 16 and studying to be a teacher. We receive letters and photos regularly and she is always so grateful. It warms our hearts to see her grow and know that we are a part of her journey. Unbound has been excellent in keeping us posted when events affect her country and program. This is a very worthwhile charity that works directly in the communities to strengthen families, support mothers, and educate children.

Rachel M.7

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been apart of Unbound for many years (it was still called CFCA). Being able to bless families around the world in a direct way is priceless. The charity has very low overhead so almost all I donate goes to the family. I have developed life-changing relationships with my sponsored families.

Mary M.11

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been sponsoring my child for about ten years now. It has been wonderful to watch this young, tentative boy grow into a confident, well rounded young man. I am so happy that I have been able to help him on his journey to responsible adulthood.
I love getting letters from him and hearing how he is doing in school and how he helps his family. Getting pictures of him as he has grown is an extra bonus!
I'm glad that I listened to the Holy Spirit as he guided me to make a difference in the world, one child at a time.

Lynda L.1

Donor

Rating: 5

Fabulous charity. We have sponsored a young man Milton from El Salvador for 16 years. He was 3 years old when we started our relationship with him. We regularly received letters & he us studying to be a policeman. We love him & feel so proud of him.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been helping a young girl from the Philippines for three years. Her mother writes letters and sends photos of her daughter, and she can pay for her daughter's schooling with my monthly donation. I first heard of Unbound through a retired priest who came to tell the parish about it three years ago. I was impressed with their record of very low overhead. Many who work for it are volunteers. Almost all the money goes to the beneficiaries.

Donor

Rating: 5

Unbound has enabled us to help out a little girl in Guatemala who has a lot of promise to grow up and improve her life and many others.

Anne T O.

Donor

Rating: 5

The personal connection between the elderly person and her family and me, the Unbound sponsor, is unlike any other charitable endeavour - it's so positive and definitely a two way benefit. I love that I'm not just sending money.

wkw1

Donor

Rating: 5

Best value in eloping keep families together by helping a child and the family.
Very little wasted money. No glam no glitz, just serious people who know how to get things done.
Rules can make it tough for children and family to stay in program, but maybe we need a world with more rules, less anything goes.
Efficient, noble and excellent follow up.
If you save just one child, together we can save the world..

1 lulauccles

Donor

Rating: 5

En el mes de julio viajamos mi esposo y yo a Guatemala con un grupo de 36 personas a visitar a nuestros ahijados, fue una esperiencia única, que a mi en lo personal me cambió la vida, conocí personalmente a mi ahijado que hoy tiene 16 años pero lo padrino desde que tenia 5 años y sentir su agradecimiento y cariño me emociono mucho ya que solo había platicado con el por carta. Esta oportunidad que unbound me dio de conocerlo fue maravillosa, hoy puedo decir que ya no soy la misma persona. Gracias unbound In the month of July my husband and I traveled to Guatemala with a group of 36 people to visit our godchildren, it was a unique experience, which personally changed my life. I personally met my godson who is now 16 years old. but I have been a sponsor since I was 5 years old and I feel his gratitude and affection, I am very excited because I had only talked with him by letter. This opportunity that unbound gave me to meet him was wonderful, today I can say that I am no longer the same person. Thanks unbound

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a sponsor for close to 14 years and at present have 3 children that I sponsor. I love this organization and i know the funds are well managed. I have been on a couple of mission trips with them and have seen first hand all the good that these caring people do. I like that they allow the sponsored families to make decisions on where they can best use their sponsors funds. I have received letters from my sponsored children who comment on how wonderful they are treated by the staff.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have watched my sponsored child grow up, hear about her trials in school and in life and hear about the hope, preparation and optimism her and other sponsored children get from being in the program. We exchange letters and pictures. It's a great program.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

When this organization was the Christian Foundation for Children and Aging (CFCA) under the founder, it was 100% for the poor. It was established by the founder at least 40 years ago and the employees were there for years. They all were devoted to the cause. Once the founder passed away, Unbound took over and is claiming to operate the way the founder did. Unbound has raised the prices of sponsorship of the children and is giving less in benefits. The previous staff fought these changes and word got out to sponsors. Sponsors confronted Unbound and they claimed the staff misunderstood due to language differences. A year later the staff was fired or threatened of being fired for not conforming. Eventually the staff quit or got fired one being a previous catholic priest. The founder used to take all children for an annual outing, that benefit was removed. The founder delivered bags of food which included beans, rice, coffee, tuna, milk, cookies....(we helped pack them). Now Unbound gives them a debit card telling sponsors the families can buy what they need making it sound like it is a better benefit, but according to the sponsored family we had, it was nothing. The founder allowed sponsors to send gifts to their sponsored child. Unbound cut that benefit saying sponsors were sending to large of packages . We believe it was to save on overhead and staff. The previous staff says Unbound had them living in fear. The sponsored families say they have them living in fear. The new name should be Bound not Unbound.

1 Alexandra Alexa F.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Creo firmemente que unbound es una organización con un potencial y una manera hermosa, bella de brindar apoyo a todos aquellos que la necesitan, y para los que trabajamos en ella una escuela de Vida... fui parte de esta organización y puedo decir que fue la mejor experiencia en el campo laboral, donde la mejor paga, fue la gratitud y esa sensación rica, de sentir impecable esa paz y satisfacción al trabajar por los necesitados, y aprender de ellos... unbound la llevo siempre en mi corazón... y les comparto que estoy en la creación de una fundación en mi país VENEZUELA... unbound ya no esta fisicamente en venezuela pero si en 3700 apadrinados, muchos trabajadores y familias de esta gran escuela unbounbarquisimeto- venezuela tierra donde fluye leche y miel.