Unbound, an international non-profit that works to build unique paths out of poverty for children, youth, elders, and their families in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, is celebrating 1 million sponsorships. The group is joined for the milestone by The Chosen actor Jonathan Roumie, who has been supporting Unbound for years. Now, Roumie has sponsored Unbound’s 1 millionth “friend” and he wants to see Unbound sponsor 1 million more.
Based in Kansas City, Unbound has formed a community of people of good will who walk in solidarity with the world’s poor. Unbound matches sponsors with people in need, from children to elders, who receive support through one-on-one relationships with their sponsors. In true community fashion, recipients of this good will are called “friends,” as the friendship between them and their sponsors is the focus of this unique charity.
This highly personalized sponsorship program was launched by lay Catholics Bob, Bud, and Jim Hentzen, their sister Nadine Pearce, and their friend Jerry Tolle in 1981. In the years since, the non-profit has touched the lives of 1 million children, students, and elders through a program that is found to transform the lives of both sponsored friends and the sponsors themselves.
An Aleteia editor notes how sponsoring kids and a grandfather has impacted her family:
We have been able to sponsor children who have birthdays on or near the birthdays of some of our own kids. It’s so fun for them to exchange letters with their same-aged peers, and share their same struggles in things like math class, or their love for drawing. On the other hand, our sponsored grandpa … he just fills my heart. And his caregiver loves houseplants even more than I do!
Yeah, run, don’t walk
Four years ago, Jonathan Roumie – the actor who portrays Jesus Christ on the hit show The Chosen – began supporting Unbound, becoming a sponsor and friend of a child living in poverty in Tanzania. Now, in celebration of Unbound’s milestone, he has appeared in a brief promotional video in order to highlight the 20,000 other children and elders awaiting sponsorship through Unbound.
“Sponsoring a child is a direct expression of faith,” Roumie said. “You’re helping the poor. You’re trying to walk with them as Christ would walk with the neediest.”
Roumie has already taken on his second sponsorship, befriending a 6-year-old girl and her family in Rwanda, who stand as Unbound’s 1 millionth sponsorship. In the video featured above, the actor can be seen on a tour of Unbound’s Kansas City headquarters, which is practically a museum of poverty. As he explored a full-sized replica of a shack made from driftwood, tarps, and corrugated steel, Roumie commented:
“When I was asked to be the sponsor of the 1 millionth child for Unbound, I was humbled to be asked and I wondered, ‘How many more need sponsorship?’ Don’t hesitate. I don’t think you should hesitate in joining Unbound. You couldn’t put a price on the impact you can have on a family that are in extreme poverty and in need. Yeah, run, don’t walk.”
Unbound welcomes all people of good will to join their community and mission, based in the Gospels and driven by core values of integrity and accountability, the dignity of the person, and respectful relationships. Visit Unbound to learn more about their invaluable work around the world and consider becoming a sponsor today.