‘Children Are in Dire Straits and Fighting for Their Lives,’ Says Palmer
COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.—Carson Palmer, former professional quarterback for 15 NFL seasons, has answered the call to join fellow professional athletes and national leaders to help children living in extreme poverty around the globe.
Fill The Stadium has a clear goal over the next 12 months: to provide aid to 70,000 children in Compassion International’s programs who missed out on relief this year due to gaps of support created by the COVID-19 crisis. The target of 70,000 is the average capacity of pro-football stadiums in America. Fill The Stadium leaders hope that fans who normally would have spent money on a professional sports games this year—but couldn’t—choose instead to support underprivileged kids and their families.
According to Fill The Stadium team leaders, Palmer has committed to donating $300,000 and is challenging others to match his donation. “When you think about all the children, 70,000 kids that Compassion wasn’t able to reach this year because of COVID, it breaks my heart” said Palmer. “What we can do right now is stand in the gap for all these kids.”
Fill The Stadium team leaders—Santiago “Jimmy” Mellado, CEO and president of Compassion International, and Steve Stenstrom, president of Pro Athletes Outreach—have already received a strong assist from 37 athletes and leaders.
The Fill The Stadium team notes that $500—approximately the same amount most Americans would spend for four tickets to attend a pro-football game—will help provide 12 months of food, nutritional supplements, hygiene essentials, and COVID-19 medical screenings for children and families in crisis. So far, the group has “filled” over 16,000 seats—well on their way to the goal of helping 70,000 children.
Joining Palmer, Mellado and Stenstrom in the Fill The Stadium effort are such standout professional athletes as Dakota Dozier of the Minnesota Vikings; Alyssa Naeher of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team; Devin and Jason McCourty defensive backs of New England; Nate Solder of the New York Giants and many others. These elite athletes understand that their leadership and participation can help bring much-needed attention to this worthy cause.
Adds Palmer, “This is an incredible opportunity for American families to help children who are in dire straits and truly fighting for their lives.”
In this year of coronavirus, “We are all experiencing the reality of empty stadiums,” says the Fill The Stadium team. It’s why this effort so desperately needs a caring, prayerful and thoughtful community to join together in this needed relief.