A Legacy of Generosity

Planned giving helps ensure a promising future for sponsored friends, families and communities

October 30, 2022 | Be Informed

Unbound sponsors express solidarity with their sponsored friends through their generous financial contributions, correspondence and prayers. But some sponsors, as well as other donors who believe in the work of Unbound, choose to take their commitment to a deeper level with estate gifts and other forms of planned giving.

Planned giving, also known as legacy giving, provides a way to support the work of Unbound now and in the future. These gifts are a means of helping to ensure that Unbound remains strong and viable and can continue its mission to help people lift themselves out of extreme poverty.

Michael Calabria is Unbound’s planned giving director. He works with people of various backgrounds and interests who have a common belief in Unbound’s mission, trust in its stewardship and desire to help those in need through its programs.

“I have so much admiration for the kindness and generosity of our sponsors and donors who extend their own legacy through the work of Unbound,” he said.

Ensuring a friend's future

Planned giving is a general term for any prearranged donation of assets made during a person’s lifetime or as an inclusion in their will. These can include cash, personal property, real estate, stocks, life insurance and other holdings. Such gifts are generally structured to maximize their value to the organization that receives them while minimizing the tax burden on the donor’s estate.

Some sponsors, like Malcolm Coote, designate their gifts specifically for the benefit of a sponsored friend. Mr. Coote, who’s now in his 90s, wanted to make sure that his sponsored friend Mayra in Guatemala, who has special needs, would be cared for in the future.

“At the time when we chose Mayra, we knew that she had Down syndrome and needed help,” he said. “The best solution was for me to set up a trust to be sure of Mayra’s future care. It is a sense of relief to know that Mayra and her family will receive assistance for the rest of her life.”

Mary Glynn Williamson is another sponsor who chose to make a gift to help ensure a good future for her sponsored friend Fredy, also in Guatemala.

“I am thrilled that precious Fredy and his family will receive the extra funds,” she said. “I can just imagine his sweet face right now. I know the extra money will help them in so many ways.”

These examples bear witness to the bond that can develop between sponsors and their sponsored friends, and Unbound’s respect for that bond.

“Our policy of first honoring the relationship of the sponsor with their sponsored friend ensures their gift will continue to support their friend while active in our program,” Calabria said. “This can include funding for sponsorship, family need, higher education and emergency assistance.”

Other sponsors and donors leave it to Unbound to determine the best use of their gifts. A sponsor who preferred to remain anonymous said, “My parents taught me to help others by their example. Unbound allows me to help others and to make the world a better place, if in just a small way. Our gift would go to helping any friend(s) we are sponsoring at the time of our deaths. If we are not sponsoring, then [it can go] where Unbound feels it could be used to do the most good.”


Kowsalya, a member of her local Unbound mothers group in Trichy, India, prepares to carry home her family’s daily water supply. She drew the water from a community tank purchased with funds from Unbound’s Agents of Change initiative, one of several programs benefitting from designated estate gifts.

Investing in education

Legacy gifts that haven’t been designated for a specific sponsored friend or other purpose are used for the Unbound Scholarship Program, which helps support aspiring young people who might otherwise be unable to continue with their educations.

Father Jerry Hackenmueller, a retired priest from Minnesota who preaches for Unbound, views his support of the scholarship program as an expression of his faith.

“I realize that my personal sense of fulfillment really comes from the Lord's baptismal call to sacrifice for others as Christ did,” he said. “One small way to better arrive at sacrifice for me is to share my good fortune in the form of a trust fund that I hope will give children an opportunity to move beyond their secondary education.”

Unbound’s commitment to the scholarship program reflects the organization’s belief that education is the greatest asset a young person can have in rising out of systemic poverty.

“Through higher education, Unbound scholars are building a brighter future for themselves and their families,” Calabria said.


Sponsored youth and scholarship student Aynbert, 17, tutors 11-year-old Reeze (right) in the local Unbound office in Quezon City, Philippines. Reeze is also sponsored. The Unbound Scholarship Program is supported in part by estate gifts from sponsors and other donors.

continuing to bear fruit

If you would like to explore the various planned giving options available to Unbound sponsors and other supporters, Michael Calabria would be happy to visit with you. You can call him at 913-384-7146 or email him at [email protected]. There is also extensive information available on the Unbound website.

Unbound’s planned giving program is one manifestation of the priority Unbound places on integrity, transparency and accountability. Those qualities are why Unbound consistently earns the highest marks from major charity oversight organizations.

A married couple who chose to make a legacy gift and prefer to remain anonymous, offer their own evaluation.

“I have trusted Unbound to do what they say they will do with our donations. The people served, both clients and donors, are respected. Integrity seems to be at the heart of your organization. Such trust in your purpose and integrity should be held as a high value … as you pursue your mission to serve children, the elderly and their families. May God continue to bless your work.”

Father Hackenmueller, like others who leave legacy gifts, is encouraged by the thought that his gift will continue to bear fruit long into the future.

“Developing countries need … Christlike scholars that in the future can realize new visions of leadership,” he said. “If my ‘trust’ fund brings to fruition just one such transforming leader, my little sacrifice will have worked wonders and my personal fulfillment will be complete.”

The best solution was for me to set up a trust to be sure of Mayra’s future care. It is a sense of relief to know that Mayra and her family will receive assistance for the rest of her life.

— Malcolm Coote, Unbound sponsor