In 2018, alumna Erin Miller (’13) found herself listening to an impassioned pitch given by a visiting priest to her parish. Surrounded by pictures and profiles of dozens of people in other countries, he spoke about how rewarding the call is to sponsor a child through the Kansas City-based organization Unbound.

“There are moments when God’s call is just really loud,” Erin said. “And that was one of them. I think we’ve all heard similar presentations before, but I felt compelled to sponsor a child then.”

With so many opportunities to give back in a broken world, the reason this one stood out to Erin was its proximity to her prayers for vocation. “I’ve always felt called to be in a maternal role, but more and more I’d been praying about what spiritual motherhood means. What it means to be a loving, devoted–essentially maternal–presence in the lives of those around you. That it’s more than a call of flesh and blood.”

That’s how Erin found Jenifer. “We write letters back and forth. She just turned nine last month. She tells me about her school and her siblings, and I tell her about my sister and my life in Kansas. Her mom writes the letters for her and she usually draws pictures for me on the back.”

Erin says that when the challenge was issued, it was implied that it would be a lifelong commitment. Some of the sponsored friends are in their 80s and 90s, even. But it wasn’t a hard call to make. “If anything, I’d like to continue adding more people to sponsor when my budget allows. But for now, I have a special spot in my heart just for Jenifer.”

If you’d like to learn more about the mission or find your own sponsored friend, visit Unbound.

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