Faith & Service

Flames Football joins Angel Armies to assist families in crisis

October 31, 2019

Liberty University Football is the first college football program to partner with Angel Armies, a nonprofit created by singer/songwriter Chris Tomlin to confront the foster care crisis in the U.S.

More children come into foster care each year than exit, and Angel Armies works with partners to keep children out of the foster care system by offering support to families.

With leadership from Head Coach Hugh Freeze and his wife, Jill, Flames Football aims to serve as many as 1,000 children during the 2019 season. In just over three weeks after the program was announced in September, the team’s efforts had already resulted in serving 149 children and 44 families across the U.S.

Liberty Football has formed 10 huddles that include players, their position coaches, and the coaches’ wives who meet weekly to review a list of real-time needs of at-risk families across the country. The list is provided through CarePortal, an online platform where child welfare workers can enter information about families and their immediate needs. The needs range from clothing and bedding, to money for bus passes or an electric bill. Each position group reads the families’ stories, prays for them, and then, through generous donations from Liberty and other personal contributors, decides which families they will help and how to best designate their portion of the donations.

CarePortal connects the huddles with a partnering church in the family’s area, which uses the money to carry out the request. The players receive updates every week on how their decisions have greatly impacted the families.

Coach Freeze said he was looking for a way his team could serve children together. “We got this crazy idea of a college football team meeting the needs of kids and helping kids to stay out of the foster care system. Immediately (after learning of Angel Armies), I knew God had answered our prayers,” he said.

The program is also building character in the student-athletes.

“This is a privilege that we get to be a part of — building young men to be great husbands, great fathers, and great men of their community,” said Jill Freeze.

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