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Read About U4O’s Origin Story on CanvasRebel
San Diego magazine interviews Unity 4 Orphans founder Joe Brandi on his vision for starting a nonprofit focused on helping orphaned and vulnerable children.
Many in our community know what U4O’s mission is and what we stand for but may not know the origin story behind Joe’s vision for our nonprofit. In an interview with CanvasRebel, he shares that it began with a trip to Kenya with World Orphans in 2008.
Following the trip that opened his eyes to the needs of orphaned children, Joe was inspired to take action to make a difference.
Awareness of Orphaned Children Changes Hearts and Inspires Action
When Joe moved to San Diego, he began visiting orphanages in nearby Tijuana, embracing the opportunities for relational consistency with children who need it most. Groups of volunteers with suitcases full of donated food and toiletries joined him to visit children at orphanages across the border every month.
The orphan became real to me . . . I experienced an overwhelming moment where I knew that I had to harness all of my energy, finances, and resources to do something meaningful with my life to help children who have been orphaned.
—Joe Brandi, U4O Founder
A Vision to Help Children Living in Poverty Takes Shape
The volunteers who consistently gave their time and energy provided the foundation for Unity 4 Orphans’ mission. The next phase of our development began with establishing an English as a Second Language program in a small impoverished village in Nicaragua. Through our ESL program, local kids learn to speak English, which opens doors for them to attend college, reach for their goals, and rise above the poverty they were born into.
We need people in our organization to help us grow and have long-term sustainability and reproducibility, so we can help more kids and make sure our funds and resources are correctly invested.
—Joe Brandi, U4O Founder
A Solid Foundation Helps Nonprofits Grow to Reach More Children in Need
After years of building programs and bringing in dedicated volunteers and team members, Unity 4 Orphans made a pivot during the pandemic. Now, with a revitalized staff in San Diego, as well as new team members in Latin America, U4O is helping children in multiple countries reach their full potential through education, holistic care, and ESL classes.
Check out the article to hear more of Joe’s story and be inspired by how our organization has grown!