To Date, 46,000 Children Are Receiving Life-Saving Aid as They Struggle in the Wake of COVID-19
COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO. — Earlier this week, during a virtual “Halftime Huddle,” members of Compassion International’s Fill The Stadium team met to thank and honor those who have participated in this life-saving initiative – and to share remarkable news: nearly $23 million has already been raised in the first half of the Fill The Stadium effort, which has aided nearly 46,000 children and their families living in extreme poverty in the wake of COVID-19.
Compassion International, (www.compassion.com), a Christ-centered, church-based ministry dedicated to releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name, hosted the virtual “Halftime Huddle.” Leaders of the event were Santiago “Jimmy” Mellado, CEO and President of Compassion International and Steve Stenstrom, President of Pro Athletes Outreach. Together, they launched Fill The Stadium in March 2020.
Joining Mellado and Stenstrom in leadership roles for Fill The Stadium efforts are such standout professional athletes as Nick Foles, professional football MVP quarterback; Adam Engel of the Chicago White Sox; Nick Ahmed of the Arizona Diamondbacks; Alyssa Naeher of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team; Jordy Nelson, former professional wide receiver; 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.
Fill The Stadium grew out of a vision that Stenstrom first had. “After talking with Jimmy about the need to help 70,000 children who would be impacted by COVID due to global poverty, I googled what the average number of seats is in a stadium. That number was roughly 70,000. From that moment forward, we knew that while other stadium are empty this year, this was a stadium that couldn’t remain empty.”
“Only a big vision can stand down a problem of this size,” Mellado said. “COVID has created a global economic and humanitarian crisis. It has had a devastating impact on the lives of the population that Compassion International serves.”
Like any halftime huddle, this event served two importance purposes: to look back on what was achieved in the first half, and plan for what comes next in the second half. The event included inspirational video footage from CompassionInternational sharing the life-saving impact on children living in extreme poverty in the under resourced 25 countries that are benefiting from the Fill The Stadium initiative. The event also featured live messages to the families of the top athletes, churches and businesses participating, and of course, the exciting announcement of raising nearly $23 million!
“My prayer is that the resourced world won’t move on too quickly and forget about their under-resourced brothers and sisters who desperately need their assistance. They need our support both financially and spiritually,” Mellado stated.
Over 40 professional athletes and national leaders, have personally joined Compassion International’s, Fill The Stadium effort to help save children in crisis in the developing world during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Fill The Stadium team notes that $500—approximately the same amount most Americans would spend for a family of four to attend a pro-football game—will help provide 12 months of life saving food, nutritional supplements, hygiene essentials, and COVID-19 medical screenings for children and families in crisis. So far, the group has “filled” over 24,000 seats — continuing their commitment and leadership — on their way to the goal of helping 70,000 children.
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.