U.S. Women’s National Soccer Standout Alyssa Naeher Joins a Unique Team Effort to Help Children Impacted by COVID.
COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.—It’s an extraordinary team effort by a community of top athletes and influencers. Now, Fill The Stadium (www.FillTheStadium.com) announces that Alyssa Naeher, goalkeeper for the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team, is lending her muscle to this worthy cause of helping scores of needy young people around the globe.
Fill The Stadium has a clear goal over the next 12 months: to provide aid to 70,000 children 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.
The Fill The Stadium lead team consists of standouts in their fields. Santiago “Jimmy” Mellado is CEO and president of Compassion International, a Christ-centered, church-based ministry dedicated to releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name. Steve Stenstrom is president of Pro Athletes Outreach—and as a former NFL quarterback, he knows all about getting the ball over the line for a winning purpose.
Alyssa Naeher helped win the World Cup in 2019—and now, she has joined the Fill The Stadium team to help children in crisis.
“There’s a lot of people hurting this year, a lot of extra people needing help at an extreme time,” says Naeher. “When I hear the number 70,000—it’s a big number. For me, I compare that to a specific event of playing the World Cup final in Lyonnais last summer in a sold-out stadium. It was energetic. It was loud. And it was an experience people chose.
“Now, we can reinsert Compassion International and children into that environment. I see the visual in my head. And since 70,000 kids all around the world can benefit from this project and live a better life because of our help, I’m challenging youth soccer clubs and others to help ‘fill a seat’ in the stadium for a great cause.”
The Fill The Stadium Lead Team notes that $500—roughly the same amount that a family of four sports fans would shell out on game-day tickets, parking, meals, and more—can help provide a full year of food, nutritional supplements, hygiene essentials, and COVID-19 medical screenings for just one child in crisis. So far, the group has “filled” over 16,000 seats—and they’re determined to reach Fill The Stadium’s target of 70,000.
Santiago “Jimmy” Mellado says, “As these children wait for loving sponsors, it’s our priority to provide for their critical needs. We know the impacts of COVID-19 are being felt most severely by those living in poverty. And the devastation is growing as the virus continues to hit the developing world in overpopulated urban areas and regions with limited access to testing and treatment.”
Steve Stenstrom notes, “We talk about this as one ‘stadium’ that can’t stay empty. We have to fill the seats. We have to fill the need out there. But we know this is on God’s heart. We feel led to reach critical mass here. This is a time for us to be listening to the Lord’s voice.”
In addition to Alyssa Naeher of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team, other standout pro athletes who have signed on help Fill The Stadium include Dakota Dozier of the Minnesota Vikings; Nick Foles, professional football MVP quarterback; Chris Davis, first baseman of the Baltimore Orioles; Devin and Jason McCourty, defensive backs of New England; Nate Solder of the New York Giants. These elite athletes understand that their leadership and participation can help shine a bright light on an important cause.
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 desperately needs caring and prayerful Americans to join in.