“I immediately thought, ‘I am going to sell customized mugs to earn money for Shafi!’” says Samuel. “So right then and there, I got some paper and pencils and started drawing designs and writing out my plan.”
Samuel and his mom purchased several plain white mugs from a discount store and got to work. He drew original designs on the mugs with permanent markers 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 for other teachers at the school.
Samuel went home, got right to work, and delivered her order the very next day. 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 twelve, has enjoyed writing Shafi and learning more about him over the past two years. “His birthday is in November. He likes English, going to church, and playing ball,” says Samuel. “I enjoy writing to him,” he says. “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 $43 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!”
When asked why he thinks it’s important to sponsor children, Samuel says, “If one kid is noticed, it impacts the world!”