FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — If you see a Falcons punt land inside the 20-yard line, your first reaction may be to quickly cheer on the field position provided then turn your attention to the defense taking the field.
Though, it's not just a routine punt.
Every time a Bradley Pinion punt falls within that marker, $1,000 will be given to charity thanks to Punts for Purpose this season. You, too, can donate to the cause by clicking right here.
"We've been blessed beyond belief," Pinion said. "We're just trying to give back any way possible."
Pinion and his wife, Kaeleigh, started the initiative, inspired by their Punts for Pups program in 2021, which helped veterans find a shelter dog and covered adoption fees.
This time the purpose is to support child survival centers in the developing world in partnership with Compassion International.
The organization tags it as the "fight for first" or the fight for the first year of life. According to Compassion International statistics, 2.6 million impoverished babies don't survive the first 28 days of life, 830 women die due to pregnancy and childbirth complications and 99% of maternal deaths happen in low-income countries.
Each punt inside the 20-yard line will supply a mother and baby with access to healthcare, food and clean water until that baby turns one year old.
Pinion said there are a few more punters doing it all season long with him, and several more will join in during the holidays.
Kaeleigh sparked the idea at the end of last season. The veteran punter soon contacted everybody he knew through texts or social media to get involved. Pinion said the feedback has been really positive and they want to keep building on it with the hopes of getting all 32 punters involved.
But this is more than just a season project for Pinion.
The Pinions have been involved already with Compassion International through the Pro Athletes Outreach. They've since helped fund two child development centers in Tanzania. Over the offseason, they traveled to see the work done at the grassroots level.
The two spent over a week in Tanzania visiting with children they sponsored and the centers.
"The best way to describe it is like you're either two seconds from crying or two seconds from the greatest joy," Pinion said. "Their heart of joy and giving was just unmatched."
That giving nature was especially palpable when they visited the remote areas where a large Maasai community resides. Their hospitality left a great impact on Pinion. The tribe gave him and Kaeleigh cultural beaded jewels and bright-colored shawls. They even butchered a goat and later served it for dinner. Whole goat roasts are a common Maasai practice, especially for guests.
The rich tradition Pinion experienced is a testament to its everlasting, enduring culture.
The Maasai people first migrated to Tanzania and Kenya in the 15th century. The tribe survived western colonization, still holding onto its rich tradition of living in mud huts and herding cattle.
Even still, the infant mortality rate falls in line with the developing world. That's where aid from causes like Pinion's comes into play.
This specific program is even more poignant for the Pinions after learning they'll be expecting their child in January.
"Knowing what my wife is going through, what we're going through," Pinion said, "and all the resources we have and that these people may not have those same resources has really put a driving force behind that."
Get a glimpse of the Falcons punter's trip to Tanzania in his work with Compassion International. Photos courtesy of Bradley Pinion.