“I tried carrying the weight of the world
But I only have two hands”
These lyrics from Avicii’s song “Wake Me Up” represent an approach many of us take when issues in our lives need to be resolved, whether they be relatively “small” personal challenges (“how am I ever going to get that birthday party planned?”) or relatively “big” global quandaries (“what can I do to eradicate world hunger?”).
For those “small” personal challenges, life has been trying to teach me for a long time now that it’s incredible how many people are willing to pitch in and help with just a little bit of guidance, encouragement, and (here’s the important thing) the fact that I need to ask in the first place. For the “big” global quandaries, an organization called Unbound (formerly Christian Foundation for Children and Aging) adds so much more than my two hands to the goal of making a difference for people who are in poverty.
I have been involved with Unbound since my in-laws started sponsoring Silvia twelve years ago. I met Silvia and her mother in July 2011 when my daughter, Tenley, and I went to Guatemala on a Mission Awareness Trip. That’s when we started sponsoring Estela, also from Guatemala, and gained a first-hand knowledge of how our monthly contributions are used and how the letters we exchange with our sponsored children are an important part of the bond between sponsors and sponsored individuals.
I am thrilled to announce that I will be joining Unbound on a Blogger Trip to El Salvador June 1-6. Details about the 3 other bloggers, 2 journalists, and 2 Unbound staff members who make up the team for #BlogUnbound can be found here. My goal as a participant on this trip is to make it come alive for those of you who can’t visit an Unbound site in person. I will be blogging and sharing about the trip via my social media channels before, during, and after the trip.
I will tell you unreservedly that one of the appointments on my itinerary that I am most excited about is meeting Stanley, a three year old child with muscular dystrophy who our family has decided to start sponsoring:
I will be meeting Stanley and his family on my first full day in El Salvador, at his home. On Tuesday, I will meet with the health committee of a mothers’ group, and on Wednesday, I will meet with a college student who commutes five hours a day to take classes. My fellow travelers will get to see an eco-stove in use, meet sponsored children and aging, visit families who sell clothing and homemade jewelry to make a living, and cook local dishes.
Through my long-time involvement with Unbound, I have come to believe wholeheartedly in its sponsorship model. I know that $30 a month can change lives. I know that the $30 is not in any way a “handout” — it is a way to provide help to people who want to make their lives and the lives of children who rely on them for support more stable and hopeful. I am particularly enthusiastic about the programs that teach people skills that they can then use to support themselves.
Believing in this model as I do, I hope to use this trip to El Salvador to become a more knowledgeable messenger and more energized motivator to link additional hands together to lighten the load of people who are struggling under the weight of poverty.
Between now and June 1 when I depart, here are a few resources to learn about Unbound:
Unbound’s webpage can be found here.
Visit Unbound on Facebook here.
Visit Unbound on Twitter here.
Visit Unbound on Instagram here.