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 Kampman and Others Help the World’s Neediest Children—and Invite Others to Assist Them

October 4, 2021

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Devoted football fans are “all in” for their favorite NFL teams and are flocking to stadiums nationwide this fall. Amid the excitement, however, another type of “stadium” must still be “filled”—and former defensive end Aaron Kampman is committed to seeing this through.

For 10 seasons in the NFL, Kampman gave a major assist to the Green Bay Packers and the Jacksonville Jaguars, racking up an impressive number of tackles and 15.5 sacks in the 2006 season alone. Today, Kampman and a new group of teammates know that COVID-19 has had a devastating effect on poverty-stricken children worldwide. That’s why Compassion International, through its Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative, has been providing essential food, medical care, and support to those who are severely impoverished—but the effort is not yet complete. Compassion’s CEO Santiago “Jimmy” Mellado is determined to achieve Fill the Stadium’s goal of helping all 70,000 children in crisis. They’ve so far raised over $32 million for nearly 65,000 kids and their families, but they must still “fill the stadium” and reach all 70,000 kids at grave risk of hunger, or worse.

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

Aaron Kampman adds, “We invite others to join us, by acting to meet the needs of children in crisis.”

After a year of canceled games and vacant stadiums because of the pandemic, the image of an empty stadium is one that all athletes and fans can relate to—and as satisfying as it is to see football stadiums now filled in this current season, it is even more critical to make sure that Compassion’s “stadium” is filled.

“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 Kampman, 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; Carson Palmer, former professional quarterback; 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.

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.