It's Cup Time

Samuel kept thinking about the picture of the boy from Rwanda. The card from Compassion said that his name was Shafi and that he needed a sponsor. Samuel’s family already sponsored a kid, so Samuel understood how important sponsorship could be. 

The idea that Shafi might be hungry was something Samuel couldn’t stop thinking about. So, he decided he would become Shafi’s sponsor. There was only one problem. Samuel was in the fourth grade and didn't have the money for sponsorship. That’s when he started thinking about something else: How could he make money to sponsor Shafi? 

For a while, Samuel struggled to think of something he could do. Then one day, Samuel was visiting family and noticed something unique on a shelf: a teacup. 

“I immediately thought, ‘I am going to sell customized mugs to earn money for Shafi!’” says Samuel. 

Samuel and his mom purchased several plain white mugs and got to work. He drew designs on the mugs with permanent marker and then baked them in a high-heat oven. “When I went to school, I literally asked everyone in my grade if they wanted to buy a cup,” says Samuel. That’s when he got his first big order. His teacher asked to buy eight mugs! 

Samuel remembers, “Each day, I would come home and be like, ‘Mom! I need more cups to design!’” His business, called Cup Time, was taking off, and he was raising the money he needed for Shafi! When Samuel finally raised enough money to pay for five months of sponsorship, his mom agreed to let Samuel officially sponsor Shafi. 


Samuel, now 12, has enjoyed writing Shafi and learning more about him over the past two years. “It’s very fun, and I love getting letters back from him.”

Samuel is still raising money to sponsor Shafi each month by continuing to be creative and doing odd jobs for his dad. And each month, Samuel sends the sponsorship money to Compassion to help provide Shafi with all that he needs. “One time, Shafi told me he bought a goat with the money I sent,” exclaimed Samuel. “I really feel like I did something great!”


“If one kid is noticed, it impacts the world!”

— Samuel