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Jacob Stallings, Nominated for Prestigious Roberto Clemente Award, Pledges to Donate to Compassion’s ‘Fill the Stadium’ Initiative

September 16, 2021

Pittsburgh, PA — Every year, Major League Baseball (MLB) grants the Roberto Clemente Award to the player who “best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual’s contribution to his team,” as voted on by baseball fans and members of the media. The award is one of the most esteemed awards in MLB. This year, the Pittsburgh Pirates are represented by catcher Jacob Stallings, who has helped numbers of fans throughout the recent pandemic with virtual events as well as his work with the Boys and Girls Club of Manatee County.

Every year, the winner of the award chooses a charity of his choice that will receive a donation, and for Stallings, the choice was clear. Naming Compassion International and its Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiativeas his charity, Stallings solidified his dedication to helping children in need. Fill the Stadium is providing essential food, medical care and support to 70,000 children and their families who are in need.

Compassion’s CEO Santiago “Jimmy” Mellado is resolved to achieve Fill the Stadium’s goal of helping 70,000 children in crisis, or enough to fill a stadium. The team has raised over $31 million so far, reaching more than 62,000 kids and their families, but they must “fill the stadium”—and reach all 70,000 kids at grave risk of hunger, or worse.

CEO Mellado explains, “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 last season were a sobering reminder of those who still need essential food, health care, and support as this crisis continues.”

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.”

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, Jacob Stallings, or another Fill the Stadium spokesperson, contact Hamilton Strategies, Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, Jeff Tolson, 610.584.1096, ext. 108, or Deborah Hamilton, ext. 102.