Patriots’ Wide Receiver Joins Compassion International’s Fill the Stadium to Aid Desperate Children Suffering Through Pandemic
November 29, 2021
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Every year, the NFL takes part in “My Cause, My Cleats,” a collaboration between the NFL and players where athletes have the opportunity to represent hundreds of charitable organizations that focus on causes from youth wellness to sex trafficking prevention and support for single parents. This year, New England Patriots’ player Matthew Slater will go out on the field representing Compassion International and its Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative, a global campaign dedicated to assist in providing essential food, medical care and support to impoverished children and their families due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Fill The Stadium has a clear goal: to provide food and life-saving 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. So far, the team has raised over $33 million and filled nearly 67,000 seats—but there are still children who desperately need help.
Compassion CEO Santiago “Jimmy” Mellado commented, “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. 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.”
In order to bring awareness to this campaign, Fill the Stadium is partnering with top athletes like Patriots’ wide receiver Matthew Slater.
“Unfortunately, the effects of this virus have been felt hardest in the developing world,” Slater said. “Imagine being a child right now… living in poverty and not knowing what your future may hold. It is our goal to support 70,000 kids in this very situation. That is why my family and I have teamed up with Compassion International.”
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.
In addition to Slater, 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.
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.