Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Kenya, Madagascar, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, Philippines, Tanzania, Uganda, Venezuela
Unbound is an international nonprofit founded by lay Catholics grounded in the Gospel call to put the needs of the marginalized and vulnerable first. They build relationships of mutual respect and support that bridge cultural, religious and economic divides.
Working side by side with people of diverse faith traditions in 20 countries, they bring people together to challenge poverty in new and innovative ways.
The vision of Unbound began in 1981 with Bob, Bud and Jim Hentzen, their sister Nadine Pearce and their friend Jerry Tolle. Bob and Jerry were former missionaries who witnessed firsthand the devastating effects of poverty while working in Latin America.
They met hard-working families struggling heroically to make better lives for their children. The founders envisioned a program that would invite people to partner with these families to support and encourage them.
Guided by their faith and inspired by the principles of Catholic social teaching, the group created an innovative, highly-personalized sponsorship program. Their goal was to empower families and connect the world not only with their struggles, but also with their incredible gifts.
“We really didn’t know what we were doing, but we were doing it anyway,” said Nadine.
In 1981, the group pooled their Christmas card lists and asked a couple hundred friends and relatives to get involved. And they called their effort the Christian Foundation for Children. As Bud later described it, “The letter fell flat on its face.”
But the group persevered, gaining one sponsor a day, then a few more. After four years, there were 1000.
Christian Foundation for Children became Christian Foundation for Children and Aging and then, in 2013, Unbound.
Over the years, the organization has served more than 800,000 children, students and aging adults and currently works with more than 300,000 people supported by 260,000 sponsors.
Families around the world contribute to Unbound. Sponsors, volunteers and the families we serve all bring their gifts, initiative and potential to bear on creating connections and lifting each other up in the face of life’s challenges.
The organization has grown, but the dream of families working together remains. The founders’ commitment to the people we serve and their passionate and dedicated example continues to inspire us today.
Former NamesChristian Foundation for Children and Aging (CFCA)
2013 Net Assets