To enjoy all of my Philippines Journal entries and travel with me and Unbound, click here.

Have you ever dreamed about seeing firsthand what happens when small gifts you've given are put into action? I'm about to have this incredible experience when I travel in February to the Philippines with the amazing team at Unbound. For the past few years here at the site, we've partnered with Unbound (formerly known as CFCA) to share the good news about the work they do to serve the needs of families around the world. A peek at their mission summary tells the story of the work they do to serve so many:

unbound logoUnbound is an international nonprofit founded by lay Catholics grounded in the Gospel call to put the needs of the marginalized and vulnerable first. We build relationships of mutual respect and support that bridge cultural, religious and economic divides. We invite all people of goodwill to join us.

Working side by side with people of diverse faith traditions in 20 countries, we bring people together to challenge poverty in new and innovative ways.

We inspire confidence and offer opportunity and encouragement to children and families living on the margins of society. We create practical and trustworthy means for people to help others and nurture human connections that uplift us all.

In February, I will be traveling with Unbound on one of their Awareness Trips to the Philippines.

Legazpi region, Philippines, Photo courtesy of Unbound Legazpi region, Philippines, Photo courtesy of Unbound

To say I'm excited is a huge understatement! Our itinerary looks amazing:

Days 1-2: Depart your home airport for Manila. Due to the distance and crossing of time zones, you will arrive a day or two after your departure.

Day 3: Arrive in Manila, the Filipino capital and largest city in the country. Local Unbound staff will welcome you at the airport. Enjoy a welcome dinner.

Days 4-5: Participate in the grand welcome celebration in Manila with your sponsored friends from Manila, Quezon, Antipolo and Zamboanga.

Days 6-8: Fly to Legazpi and see what the "city of fun and adventure" has to offer! Visit your Legazpi sponsored friends.

Days 9-10: Visit families in Manila, Quezon or Antipolo. See firsthand what the families and staff have accomplished with the support of sponsorship. Be prepared for travel by bus, boat or jeepney between urban and rural communities.

Day 11: Enjoy the final celebration in Manila. Begin journey home from Manila.

Day 12: Arrive home.

Over the next few months, I will be sharing Philippines Journal entries here as I prepare to embark on and make the most of this mission trip. But the great news is that it's possible for you to come along with me, both virtually and in person! Unbound opens these trips to the public - you can learn more here about taking a trip to the Philippines or one of the other countries they serve. In the next few months, I'll be sharing more about their work in the Philippines and about the culture of that beautiful country.

Be sure to watch here on the blog for my Philippines Journal entries and follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to experience the fun. I'll be using the hashtag #UnboundOrg as I prep and #UnboundAdventure while on the trip. If you have tips for me, questions about this mission or Unbound or simply want to come along on the adventure, be sure to drop me a comment, tweet or message!

The tools mothers of sponsored children use to weave traditional fabrics in the Philippines. Image courtesy of Unbound The tools mothers of sponsored children use to weave traditional fabrics in the Philippines. Image courtesy of Unbound

My patron saints for this adventure will be St. Lorenzo Ruiz of Manila and his companions, who gave their lives for their faith, and Nuestra Señora de Guia (Our Lady of Guidance). Please join me in praying for Our Lady's intercession in the work of Unbound and for the courage and conviction of St. Lorenzo to lovingly reach out to those most in need.

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