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Amid the Continuing Pandemic, Palmer and the Entire ‘Fill the Stadium’ Team Focus on Freeing the World’s Neediest from Desperate

November 22, 2021

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Many Americans are gathering this week to celebrate Thanksgiving with friends, family, and ample amounts of food. It’s a time for people to reflect on what they are thankful for and the blessings from the past year. However, nearly 70,000 Compassion Kids are finding themselves thankful for those helping to meet their needs after a catastrophic loss.

After a year and a half of the Covid-19 pandemic, with over five million people dead globally and millions more suffering from hunger, lack of medical care, and other support, many people are still in dire need of basic necessities. In response to this need, Compassion International and its Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative is determined to assist in providing essential food, medical care and support to impoverished children and their families. Partnering with top athletes to bring awareness to this global issue, Compassion is determined to feed 70,000 children around the world, which is the average size of an NFL stadium.

Compassion’s CEO Santiago “Jimmy” Mellado explained, “We are committed to caring for 70,000 children who were not sponsored due to the pandemic, which is enough children to fill an average NFL football stadium. At Compassion, we believe the empty stadiums at NFL games last season were a sobering reminder of those who still need essential food, health care, and support as this crisis continues.”

One athlete that has partnered with Fill the Stadium is former NFL quarterback Carson Palmer. Palmer previously committed to donating $300,000 himself—and challenged others to match that donation. The stadium is close to being filled, with the team raising over $33 million dollars so far, reaching more than 66,000 kids and their families, but the team must “fill the stadium” and reach all 70,000 children who are at risk.

In a recent Fox and Friends interview, Palmer spoke about his dedication to the initiative and how he and his entire family were determined to support children from around the world. As a surprise to Palmer, the Fox team broadcast an emotional video message from the children Palmer and his family are sponsoring, thanking him for his continued support and prayers.

One child said, “Hello Carson Palmer! Blessings to you and your family. I greet you in the name of the Lord. Thank you for your support of me and all the children in need.”

Another declared, “May God bless you and your family, and fill the stadium!”

In the COVID-19 era, “We have all experienced the reality of empty stadiums,” says the Fill the Stadium team. “The average NFL stadium holds 70,000 seats. We need to reach that many kids. This effort desperately needs a caring, prayerful, and thoughtful community to join together in this critical relief.”

In addition to Palmer, those holding co-leadership roles in this charitable team effort are Alyssa Naeher, a member of the U.S. Olympic Women’s Soccer Team (which won a Bronze Medal in Tokyo); Nick Foles, professional football MVP quarterback; Adam Engel of the Chicago White Sox; Sam Burns, PGA TOUR golfer; Nick Ahmed of the Arizona Diamondbacks; Jordy Nelson, former professional wide receiver; Devin and Jason McCourty, NFL defensive backs; 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. Steve Stenstrom, president of Pro Athletes Outreach, is also playing a lead role in the effort.

To learn more about this effort, visit the Fill the Stadium website, as well as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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.

###To interview Santiago “Jimmy” Mellado, president and CEO of Compassion International, or another Fill the Stadium spokesperson, contact Hamilton Strategies, Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, Jeff Tolson, 610.584.1096, ext. 108, or Deborah Hamilton, ext. 102.