The Off-season of the Living Dead shambles on. It has been over three months since the last move affecting the 40-man roster for Arizona, and we’re now a couple of weeks from pitchers and catchers reporting. At least, theoretically. In the favored line used by parents everywhere to demanding children: we’ll see about that. But while we wait for anything much to happen, I heard that shortstop Nick Ahmed and his wife Amanda have been taking part in a charity campaign to raise money and support for children who need it amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. I figured it’s a cause which deserves a bit more coverage.
Nick and Amanda have joined a slew of athletes from many sports in support of Compassion International’s Fill The Stadium Initiative. Fans can partner with players by contributing a $500 donation -- roughly the average cost for a family of four to attend a major sporting event these days. That donation will help provide a child and family with life-saving food and care, which can be crucial in helping them survive the pandemic caused food crisis.
The goal of the initiative is to sell 70,000 “seats”, filling a virtual stadium. The project is well on its way, having filled 22,000 seats, and already raised in excess of $11 million. As well as the Ahmeds, there are no shortage of others taking part. They include quarterback Nick Foles; Alyssa Naeher of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team; Carson Palmer, former professional quarterback; Chris Davis, first baseman of the Baltimore Orioles, Devin and Jason McCourty, defensive backs with the New England Patriots, Nate Solder of the New York Giants, Pro Bowl Quarterback Kirk Cousins on the Minnesota Vikings, and Jaccob Slavin of the Carolina Hurricanes.
Said Nick, “The need to help these children has only intensified in light of the pandemic. While we’ve missed having fans at our games, our hope is that those in more fortunate situations will join our team to help provide basic needs to children and their families across the world.” A donation of $500 will help provide 12 months of food, nutritional supplements, hygiene essentials, and COVID-19 medical screenings for children and families in crisis. We may, hopefully, be coming to at least the beginning of the end of the pandemic, but it will be a long time, if ever, before all the families affected by it see things return to normal, and they could use all the help they can get in the meantime.