by Moira Cullings
LEAWOOD — A student at Curé of Ars School here writes a letter to a child her own age living in a different part of the world.
They share pictures, ask questions and pray for one another.
“It gives them an opportunity to put the corporal works of mercy into action,” said Jennifer Siebes, outreach and account management director for Unbound and a Curé parishioner.
“It gives them an opportunity to put their faith in action,” she added.
This is the Unbound school outreach program.
Based out of Kansas City, Kansas, Unbound pairs sponsors — which can be groups or individuals — with a child or elderly person living in poverty in another part of the world.
The sponsor’s donation of $40 a month helps their friend with various costs, like education and food, and gives them the tools for a better life.
Now, classrooms in the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas can get in on the action.
“We want to partner a classroom with a global classmate so they learn from each other,” said Siebes. “They learn about their commonalities, their differences, [and] they pray for and encourage one another.”
To celebrate the new program, Unbound turned to Doug Brummel and Dave Wilson.
The pair, based in the Colorado Springs, Colorado, area, are the creators of the “Doug and Dave Show.” They travel the country for conferences, rallies and parish events.
Brummel, who worked as an artist partner with Unbound years ago, stayed in touch with Siebes. When she reached out about collaborating, he and Wilson were eager to create a show specifically for Unbound.
They presented “The Faith We Live” on Oct. 14 at Curé of Ars Church.
The interactive presentation included skits and songs with an overarching message of living the faith in the world.
For Brummel, working again with Unbound has been special.
“It is honestly one of the most humbling things that is bigger than ourselves,” he said, “and we know that God has brought our mission and their mission together to serve others and love our neighbor as ourself.
“Our songs have always been [about] faith in action, so it’s a perfect partnership.”
The duo’s audience at Curé was taken for quite a ride.
“It was really funny and really interactive,” said Jennifer Wells, who was called upon to participate in one of the skits.
“It was a good way to put everything in perspective of how to serve,” she said.
Wells is a middle school teacher at St. Michael the Archangel in Leawood and discovered Unbound’s school outreach program through former principal Mike Cullinan.
The program piqued her interest.
“I think as a teacher, we teach our kids to live out their faith,” she said, “and this may be a good calling for me to see if this is a way for me to connect with some of those kids.”
Siebes said the program is possible because of the extra time she and her colleagues had last year.
“When all the churches shut down, we had in the back of our mind exploring ways to engage the hearts and minds of a younger generation of Catholics,” she said.
The program is in its beginning stages, with six archdiocesan schools currently participating.
Unbound also recently launched a resource center that will come in handy for schools, families and religious education programs.
The offerings, which will be updated regularly, include videos, activities, prayers and more.
It’s all part of Unbound’s initiative to help young people learn about service.
“We want kids to understand their faith and live that faith,” said Siebes. “We want them to have an opportunity not only to learn about it in a book but to put it into action.”
If you are an educator interested in the school outreach program, visit the website at: unbound.org/schools.
For more on the Unbound community, go online to: unbound.org/liveyourfaith.
To access Unbound’s educational resources, head online to: unbound.org/childsponsorship/educationalresources.
For more information on the “Doug and Dave Show,” visit the website at: douganddaveshow.com.
Sponsor a child
• Go online to: unbound.org
• Select a child to sponsor
• Choose how to contribute the $40 monthly sponsorship
• Invite your students to write the sponsored child
It’s up to your classroom to decide how you pay your monthly fee. You can ask each student to give a small amount, host a fundraiser, seek help from parish organizations like the Knights of Columbus, or take advantage of an Unbound “angel donor” — an individual, business or organization that can help contribute to your sponsored child.