Meet Jacob.

In many ways, Jacob is your average young boy. He is 12-years-old, hailing from Lacombe, Alberta. Jacob is a little brother, a dog owner and a school-goer. He loves documentaries about airplanes and ships, building Lego and reading good books. His dream is to one day be a pilot.

But what is perhaps atypical of Jacob is his unique desire to give his time and money for the good of others. Jacob’s family sponsors four children through Compassion, one of whom Jacob has taken on the responsibility of writing to.

It’s been 5 years since he started exchanging letters with Mateo from Togo. Since then, he hasn’t been able to shake the generosity bug.

Jacob fills muffin tins with batter in his kitchen.

Jacob’s Business Model: Help families in need

At just 10-years-old, Jacob started a snow shovelling business that gave its proceeds to those in need.

“Our neighbour and her husband were getting older [at the time], so they asked me if I could shovel snow off their driveway for them.  They paid me very generously,” he says.

Jacob was excited about the idea of using the money he made not for himself, but for Compassion families in need.

“In November of 2017, Jacob noticed the Compassion Christmas Gift Catalogue hanging around our house,” says Jacob’s mother, Ruth. “Upon leafing through it, he decided he would purchase a barnyard of animals.”

Jacob wears a red t-shirt and puts his muffins in the oven.

A year later, Jacob was ecstatic to continue his unique business, with hopes of purchasing another barnyard for another family. But, to his dismay, this winter did not bring much snow where he lives, so he decided to take a different route.

“Instead, Jacob decided to bake four varieties of goodies and sell them on Facebook and Instagram. He did a short little video clip that I posted on my pages, and the orders began to come in,” says Ruth.

From pumpkin chip and banana muffins to oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, Jacob diligently dashed around the house, receiving orders, baking and packaging. With the help of his mom, Jacob delivered the fresh goodies to his clients, and was rewarded with donations that left him wide eyed and grinning. 

His enthusiasm is contagious. Caleb has inspired two other families to do the same, raising money to buy animals for families around the world through Compassion’s Christmas Gift Catalogue.

Way to go, Jacob!

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Meet Petro.

He’s got a big heart with an even bigger smile—and he’s the owner of the only stall in his community where people can buy groceries. Petro is 14-years-old from Wamena, Indonesia. He has two brothers and a sponsor from Korea. He has big hopes to one day go to university.

Petro has a passion for giving to others, being with his friends and making sweet snacks for others to enjoy. He goes to school at the local Compassion centre at Gunung Susu in Wamena, Papua, Indonesia. He lives in the village—where locals have no stable income. 

Petro’s Business Model: Provide for his family and fill a community gap

In the village of Wamena where Petro lives, goods are twice as expensive as other places in Indonesia because they are imported by plane. So, in December of 2016, Petro decided to start selling affordable handmade snacks to villagers with the Christmas gift money he received from his sponsor.

“Instead of spending my Christmas gift to buy clothes or shoes, I had the idea of buying sweet potato snacks to sell again to my friends. I chose this snack because my friends and I love the sweet taste of the snack,” Petro said.

When his business began, Petro offered a light sweet potato breakfast made from his home to children and parents before they started their day. After three months of saving the profits—about $71—Petro decided, with the help of his father, that he wanted to build a small grocery stall to start his own little shop.

Petro is in his shop with green walls, and a customer is outside buying something from him.

And so, with a few wood beams, some plywood and a couple boards bought with the money he saved up, Petro’s father built him his very first store.

A year later, and Petro’s shop is packed with groceries: soft drinks, canned milk, sugar, cooking oil, canned fish, biscuit, candies, coffee, tea, instant noodles, peanuts, soap, detergent, shampoo and insect repellent.

“I’m glad that one of my dreams has come true. I do my own business to help my family. I’m happy whenever I give money to my mother so she can go to the market and buy food for our family,” Petro says. “I wrote a letter to my sponsor and told them about my business. I was delighted when I shared about my experience of owning a small stall.”

Today, Petro is dreaming and planning to build a bigger shop and workshop. He wants to buy a motorbike so he can ride by himself to purchase groceries in the city.

“I have started to save money,” says Petro. “If one day in the future my parents can’t pay for my studies at university, I can do it by myself. My father has unstable income, and my mother has no job. This stall is a solution for my family.”

Keep up the amazing work, Petro!

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Inspired to turn your passion into a venture for the good of others?

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Written by: Laura Phillips

Laura Phillips is the Marketing Writer for Compassion Canada. She is passionate about pursuing justice and mercy through writing, crafting, music, and sharing stories over a cup of strong coffee.