Fighting for vulnerable children.

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Who We Are


Unity 4 Orphans exists to raise awareness, unite communities, and mobilize people towards creatively and tangibly investing in the lives of marginalized children around the world.

Our Mission


ENTER

Each month we visit several orphanages in Tijuana, Mexico. We call this practice "Relational Consistency." Since 2010 we have hosted nearly 10,000 volunteers on over 200 service trips.

EXPERIENCE

When you volunteer with U4O, we encourage you to have an emotional experience that affects your mind, your heart, and your will. We are confident that you will be inspired to be a force of change in these children's lives, both in the present and in the future.

ACT

When you join us on a service trip and experience something in your heart, we enable you to do something practical for the children you meet. This can take the form of making a donation, hosting a collection drive for necessary goods, or inviting your friends to volunteer with you.

TRANSFORM

After entering, experiencing, and acting, we believe your life will be transformed in some unforeseen way. We are also confident that you will begin to transform these children's lives and make a positive impact on their future.

Our Vision


Fighting for a brighter future where orphaned and vulnerable children experience power and transformation in every area of their lives.

Unity 4 Orphans Team

Our Story

Unity 4 Orphans (U4O) officially launched in 2010 after our founder, Joe Brandi, joined a trip to Kenya with World Orphans. During "the trip that changed everything," the staggering number of orphans worldwide became a reality. Joe committed his life to fighting for vulnerable children. Following a season of leading short-term trips to Mexico with the world missions team at The Rock Church in San Diego, CA, Joe's vision grew and U4O was born.

Unity 4 Orphans focuses on education and mental health for the world's most vulnerable children and has impacted over 2,000 children since its inception. Quality relationships are at the core of U4O's mission, and we aim to provide individual children with the love, consistency, and dignity they deserve. Above all, we strive to break the cycle of poverty and empower children for a brighter future.

Our Founder

Joe Brandi was a staff pastor when he felt called to act. He convinced himself that he was content, but couldn’t shake the feeling that he was being pulled towards global ministry. After sharing his feelings with his leadership, he was encouraged to participate in a mission trip to Africa with World Orphans. That trip changed everything.

Joe knew that God’s vision for him was clear: he was called to dedicate the rest of his life to fighting for defenseless children. Joe says, "All children deserve to be able to feel a sense of consistency and stability and belonging in their lives. I wanted this to be a priority, no matter what. Every day, we strive to provide the children in all our programs with a sense of empowerment. We want them to grow up with opportunities and options. We want them to know they are loved by God and supported by our U4O community."

Joe with children

Team Members


Joe Brandi

Joe Brandi

Founder

Keem Schultz-Fares

Keem Schultz-Fares

Operations Director

Marco Aguilera

Marco Aguilera

Programs Director, Latin America

Laigthany Gomez

Laigthany Gomez

ESL Program Diretor, Nicaragua

Shannon Fox

Shannon Fox

PR Consultant

Lindsay Reph - Community Outreach Specialist for U4O

Lindsay Reph

Communications Specialist

Monique Taylor

Monique Taylor

Volunteer Donations Coordinator

Chris Chanco Harrell - Event Specialist for Unity 4 Orphans

Chris Chanco Harrell

Volunteers Specialist

Bettina Hanna - Unity 4 Orphans

Bettina Hanna

Volunteer Videographer

Alyssa Hamon

Alyssa Hamon

Intern

Amy Beam

Amy Beam

Technical Consultant

Ali Sardar

Ali Sardar

Financial Contractor

Greyddyn Rodriguez

Greyddyn Rodriguez

Psychologist, Nicaragua

Nellys Mairena

Nellys Mairena

ESL Teacher, Nicaragua

Yanelis Melisa Lopez Vasquez_SQ

Yanelis Lopez

Teaching Intern, Nicaragua

Board of Directors


Joe Brandi

Joe Brandi

President

Ivonne Aparicio

Ivonne Aparicio

Director

Steven Castillo

Steven Castillo

Treasurer

Laura Fellows

Laura Fellows

Director

Chris Fromm

Chris Fromm

Director

Paul Polakowski III

Paul Polakowski III

Director

Keem Schultz-Fares

Keem Schultz-Fares

Secretary

Ted Watson Ted Watson

Ted Watson

Director

FAQ


Who is U4O?

U4O is a charitable organization established to raise awareness, unite communities, and mobilize people towards creatively and tangibly investing in the lives of abandoned and neglected children.

Who is Joe Brandi?

Joe Brandi is the CEO, founder, and visionary behind Unity 4 Orphans. Joe was a Presbyterian pastor in Florida when he participated in a mission trip with World Orphans. That trip changed everything. Joe knew that God’s vision for him was clear: he was called to dedicate the rest of his life to fighting for defenseless children. Joe is an avid surfer, reader and coffee lover and lives in San Diego.

What does U4O do?

Unity 4 Orphans offers educational, mental, and spiritual support for orphaned and vulnerable children in some of the poorest communities around the world. Our focus is to care for the whole child by serving their needs in the areas of education, mental health, nutrition, and shelter.

What is U4O’s mission?

Our mission is to fight for a brighter future where orphaned and vulnerable children experience God’s power and transformation in every area of their lives. Every day, we strive to provide the children in all our programs with a sense of belonging and empowerment. We want them to grow up with opportunities and options. We want them to know they are loved by God and supported by our U4O community.

Who is on U4O’s team?

We are blessed to have both paid staff and unpaid volunteers who make up the operational team. These operate under the direction of our founder and other key leaders. Please click on individual photos higher up on this page to learn more about our team members.

Who is on U4O’s Board of Directors?

Our Board is formed by individuals with unique giftings and professional backgrounds. Each serves on a dedicated committee to provide leadership, guidance and oversight for our program and initiatives as we pursue organizational objectives. Please click on individual photos higher up on this page to learn more about our board members.

How do I join U4O’s team?

If you believe your skills and experience would benefit Unity 4 Orphans at the organizational level, please get in touch with us by sending an email to [email protected].

How do I join U4O’s Board of Directors?

If you’re interested in joining our Board of Directors or serving in an advisory role, please call Joe Brandi at (858) 729-3173 to start a conversation.

Does U4O pay its board members?

Board members are not compensated for their role on the Board of Directors. Board members who provide oversight for day-to-day activities to run our nonprofit are compensated for their organizational and operational leadership.

Is U4O a 501(c) nonprofit?

Yes, Unity 4 Orphans is a registered 501(c)(3) organization with the IRS. Our Tax ID # is 47-0959902.

Is U4O approved by the IRS for deductible donations?

Yes, contributions to Unity 4 Orphans are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law.

Which classification does U4O have as a nonprofit with the IRS?

What is U4O’s tax ID number?

How can I help U4O’s mission?

The best way to help the U4O’s mission is to start by getting involved! Come on a day trip with us to Mexico or sponsor a child. We look forward to meeting you!

Is U4O a faith-based organization?

Unity 4 Orphans has roots in the Christian faith and our founder is an ordained minister. While we hold fast to those values, we are not a religious organization, rather we are recognized by the IRS as a Public Charity. Our service trips are attended by people of all faiths and many of our volunteers and supporters have differing religious views.

Does U4O speak at events (as guest speakers)?

Yes, we do. We welcome the opportunity to share our message with your group! Please get in touch by sending an email to [email protected] to let us know more about your interest and how we might be a good fit for your needs.

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