Fall 2021 SS Magazine

Case Keenum helping FCA to 'Fill the Stadium' so kids can 'live out God's plan for their lives'

Cleveland Browns quarerback Case Keenum first started attending camps with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes in middle school, and continued in high school. His father, Steve, was a football coach for 24 years and then became a multi-area director for FCA, covering the Abilene, Texas, area. Case’s mom and sisters also served with the sports ministry.

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Through FCA in college at the University of Houston, Case met Mikado Hinson, who was the football team’s chaplain and character development coach. The two became close friends even as Keenum moved on to the NFL.

But perhaps the biggest blessing Keenum received through his time with FCA was meeting his wife, Kimberly, who worked as an administrative assistant in the Houston FCA office from 2010-2014. The two met over a snow cone at an FCA event in Abilene, their hometown.

They were married in 2011, and had their first child, Kyler, in November 2019. They’re expecting a baby girl in April. Previously, the couple has shared about their struggle with infertility.

So it’s safe to say that FCA has had a big impact on Case and his walk with Christ. In 2018 when he was with the Denver Broncos, Keenum wore FCA custom cleats during “My Cause My Cleats” week.

Now, he’s teaming up with FCA and Compassion International to “Fill the Stadium,” an initiative seeking to provide essential food, medical care and support for children and their families during the COVID-19 pandemic. The goal is to reach 70,000 children — which would fill an average-size NFL stadium — who were left without sponsorship funding when more than 1,200 child sponsorship events had to be canceled.

“Pro athletes from all over the country and [athletes] in our Huddles are teaming up with Compassion International to help kids in crisis around the world,” Keenum said in a video. “Because of COVID-19 complications, kids around the world need our help. They’re going hungry and some are facing starvation.

“… We want these kids to be able to survive so that they can have the same opportunities to live out God’s plan for their lives. It’s why we’re teaming up with Compassion to stand in the gap for 70,000 kids who are at risk. Those kids could fill an average NFL stadium, so let’s fill every seat. I want to challenge each FCA Huddle to team up and raise $500 to fill one seat, but don’t stop until you fill every seat that you can.”

Keenum has focused his promotion of the initiative toward the FCA chapters in his home state. For each student who fills one seat, Keenum will send a signed copy of his book. For each Huddle that fills 10 seats, Keenum will join the Huddle for a video call, and for every Huddle that fills 50 seats, Keenum will personally attend one of the group’s gatherings.

Jimmy Mellado, the President and CEO of Compassion International, a Christ-centered, church-based ministry, recently held a video chat with FCA President and CEO Shane Williamson to announce the ministry partnership.

“Hunger caused by the virus and malnutrition is directly causing the death of an additional 10,000 children monthly,” Mellado said on the call.

In addition to Keenum, Fill the Stadium has gained the support of numerous former and current professional athletes, including Carson Palmer, Devin and Jason McCourty, Nick Ahmed, Jaccob Slavin and more.

More information about the partnership between FCA and Compassion can be found at fillthestadium.com/fca. Learn more about Compassion’s Fill the Stadium campaign at FilltheStadium.com.

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