Thanks to Steph Whitacre for sharing her sponsorship experience this week:

Like most people, I get invited to a lot of things on Facebook. Follow this restaurant. Join this cause. Lose weight instantly. My news feed is flooded with things fighting for my attention. It can be a bit overwhelming… and sometimes annoying.

But earlier this month, I got the best notification ever: You have been added to Rose Kioko’s Sponsor Family. I clicked on the page, and was immediately met with the big smile of a fourth grader on her first day of school. My friends Freedom and Kelly had already liked the picture, and I felt warm-fuzzies knowing our sponsor family was connected from Georgia to Pennsylvania to Kenya.

My husband Tim and I were drawn to Canopy Life’s Child Sponsorship because of how it cuts through the white noise of Facebook and social media, and uses technology to facilitate global connections. Each student has four sponsors and one global mentor, who surround the child as a sponsor family. The sponsor family has exclusive access to a private page in which they can interact, encourage, and support their student.

Tim and I have seen time and time again the power of multiple positive mentors in the life of a child, and that is why we love that Canopy Life goes beyond a simple one-to-one sponsorship program. Child sponsors donate $45 a month to cover the cost of Canopy Life’s PASS (Physical, Academic, Spiritual, and Social) program areas for their child. This ensures they are provided with imagination-enabling programs and ongoing concern for their 24/7 care, education, food, clothing, and medical needs. Global mentors invest one hour and $55 each month to provide onsite mentoring programs and discipleship. In addition to having access to their child’s Facebook page, global mentors spend time each month communicating by Skype, phone or video with their child.

Side note: Have you ever gone somewhere awesome by yourself and wished you had brought others with you to share the journey? The cool thing about Canopy Life Child Sponsorship is the community fostered in sponsor families. Consider how you might enhance your sponsorship experience by inviting your small group, siblings, co-workers, or gym buddies to join you.

Keep reading to meet the 2015 Fourth Grade Class of Canopy Life Academy. Chances are, as you read about each unique student, you will be reminded of yourself as a kid. Maybe you were inquisitive. Maybe you would rather go outside and play. Maybe you were mischievous. Maybe you liked to sing. Maybe you still do.

Clicking on a child’s picture will take you to their sponsorship page. Come join the family today!

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Sponsor Opportunities: Global Mentor and 4 Sponsors needed

Brian is an inquisitive student, who asks many questions. Those who know him describe him as happy and talkative. He recently saw a National Geographic special on sharks, and was excited to practice his English by describing to his classmates how many little fish a shark can swallow in one big gulp.

Sponsor Opportunities: 3 Sponsors needed

Dan’s teachers say he is active and loves to go outside and play. He is hungry to learn, and especially enjoys math and science.


Sponsor Opportunities: Global Mentor and 3 Sponsors needed

Gorette is shy, but has a feisty spirit. The other day she hid in a closet, planning to surprise her other girl classmates. Instead, she got a big response and lots of laughs from her house mom. Gorette is looking for sponsors who will encourage her to persevere in her studies. 

Sponsor Opportunities: Global Mentor and 4 Sponsors needed

John is known for his active and inquisitive personality. He is in constant motion, and always looking for new ways to test his strength and abilities. John is learning how to harness his curiosities in a way that will benefit his peers and the world around him.

Sponsor Opportunities: 2 Sponsors needed

Take one look at Ken’s big smile, and you can see his bright and funny side come alive. Ken is a good friend to others and likes making people smile. On one of his first days at the Academy, he made up a “secret” handshake with Christi, which he loved repeating over and over again.

Sponsor Opportunities: 3 Sponsors needed

Although the same age as his classmates, Kioko acts as a “big brother” to the group. He remembers details and provides reminders to the other students about tasks and household chores. He is known as being hardworking and brave.


Sponsor Opportunities: Fully Sponsored

Mercy is part of a family who attends church every Sunday, and she is often found singing songs and worshiping.


Sponsor Opportunities: Fully Sponsored

Rose has a little bit of a daredevil inside her, and enjoys playing on the swings and performing tricks. When Rose came to the Academy, she acted tough, and is learning patience and softer ways to interact with her peers.


Sponsor Opportunities: 4 Sponsors needed

Sharon is a hardworking and innovative student.



Sponsor Opportunities: Global Mentor and 2 Sponsors needed

Wavinya is known as the “voice of reason” among the girls in her class, and likes to round up others to help serve within the house. She is always eager to pray during group devotions. Everyone who meets Wavinya agrees that her laughter is contagious.