The Sports Broadcaster/Former Pro Football Quarterback Is Helping to Provide Essential Food, Medical Care and Support for Children and Their Families
COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO. — Throughout March, Danny Kanell, sports broadcaster and former professional football quarterback, passionately tweeted about college basketball games on Twitter. But it isn’t only sports that Kanell gets excited about. He has joined over 40 other professional athletes and national leaders, in supporting the Fill The Stadium initiative to help save children in crisis in the developing world during the COVID-19 pandemic with Compassion International.
“Being part of the Fill The Stadium team is an opportunity for me to make a difference for so many,” said Kanell. “There are so many children in need. My wife, Courtenay, and I want to do our part and help. We hope that others join us in this program for the kids and their families.”
Virus-linked hunger is tied to 10,000 child deaths each month. Although they are not the face of the pandemic in the United States, many children in the developing world are COVID-19’s biggest victims. Over $24 million has already been raised in the first half of the Fill The Stadium effort, which has aided more than 48,000 children and their families living in extreme poverty in the wake of COVID-19.
Compassion International’s Fill The Stadium has a clear goal: to provide life-saving 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 stadiums across America. Fill The Stadium leaders hope that fans who typically would have spent money on professional sports games this year—but couldn’t—choose instead to support children and their families at risk of starvation.
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 vital assistance from 40 standouts including Nick Foles, professional football MVP quarterback; Alyssa Naeher of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team; Carson Palmer, former professional quarterback; Devin and Jason McCourty, defensive backs of New England; Nate Solder of the New York Giants; Jaccob Slavin of the Carolina Hurricanes; Brock Huard, FOX Sports Broadcaster and former professional quarterback, and many others.
The Fill The Stadium team notes that $500 will help provide 12 months of life-saving food, nutritional supplements, hygiene essentials, and COVID-19 medical screenings for children and families in crisis. The cost is approximately the same amount most Americans would spend for a family of four to attend a pro-football game.
In this era 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.”
Founded in 1952,Compassion International is a Christian child development organization that works to release children from poverty in Jesus’ name. Compassion revolutionized the fight against global poverty by working exclusively with the Church to lift children out of spiritual, economic, social and physical poverty. Compassion partners with more than 8,000 churches in 25 countries to deliver its holistic child development program to over 2 million babies, children and young adults. Its child sponsorship program has been validated through independent, empirical research.