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Children like eight-year-old Shaniz from Kenya may not be the face of this pandemic, but experts say they risk being its biggest victims.

Fill The Stadium outreach offers hope to children in poverty

A determined community of athletes and influencers are advocating for the needs of children living in desperate poverty around the globe. The pressing need has grown as coronavirus lockdowns around the world increase despair at exponential rates.

Fill The Stadium is an urgent effort that seeks to help 70,000 children and their families through the critical next 12 months. Organizers hope that those who would normally attend a pro football game this year but who can’t because of COVID-19 choose instead to support at-risk children living in povcerty who need urgent help.

READ: Lockdowns and masks hit world’s poor the hardest

Fill The Stadium leaders note that $500, approximately the amount most Americans spend on a pro football game day for tickets, meals, travel and extras, will help provide one year of food, nutritional supplements, hygiene essentials and COVID-19 medical screenings. So far, the group has “filled” more than 16,000 seats.

The Fill The Stadium lead team includes Dakota Dozier of the Minnesota Vikings; Alyssa Naeher of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team; former Chiefs quarterback Nick Foles; first baseman Chris Davis of the Baltimore Orioles; Devin and Jason McCourty, defensive backs for New England; and Nate Solder of the New York Giants.

“Compassion registered an additional 70,000 highly vulnerable children into our program,” said Santiago Mellado, president and CEO of Compassion International. ”After more than 1,200 promotional events had to be canceled due to COVID-19, they are still waiting to be sponsored. It’s our priority to provide for their critical needs. We know the impacts of COVID-19 are being felt most severely by those living in poverty.”

“We are approaching a tipping point moment in this movement,” said Steve Stenstrom, president of Pro Athletes Outreach. “We’re inspired more than ever to reach a critical mass and help tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, in desperate need around the globe. This continues to be a time for us to be obedient to what he asks of us.”

For more information, visit www.fillthestadium.com.

–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice

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