Tim Tebow opens hospital in the Philippines for impoverished children

Former NFL player Tim Tebow arrives at the 2014 Vanity Fair Oscars Party in West Hollywood, California March 2, 2014.(Photo: REUTERS/Danny Moloshok)

Former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow announced on December 10 that the Tebow CURE Hospital has opened in Davao City, Philippines.

The Tim Tebow Foundation said in a release that the five-story facility has received its official operating license from the Philippines' Department of Health last week and is now open to serve children with critical orthopedic needs and who cannot afford treatments and simple procedures.

The official grand opening, however, will wait until next year.

Tebow, known in America as a religious football star, was actually born in the country he now helps.

"I was born in the Philippines while my parents served as missionaries, and I have always had a great love and passion for the Filipino people," Tebow said. "It is so exciting to be able to provide healing and care for these incredibly deserving children halfway around the world."

The 30-bed hospital, which was in the works since 2011 and was completed in September of this year, was made for children with orthopedic conditions such as clubfoot, bowed legs, cleft palate, and other congenital limb abnormalities that are commonly treated in the West.

"These are simple procedures we take for granted in the US," Erik Dellenback, the executive director of the Tim Tebow Foundation, said. "The reality is that we hope to show people in the Philippines that there is faith, hope and love out there. We want to show them that the Western world cares about them and that they're not a deserted nation."

The fully-equipped facility has three operating rooms specialising in pediatric orthopedic surgeries and is currently staffed by 54 people. It was built in partnership with CURE International and is the twelfth hospital that the Christian nonprofit organisation has helped open.

This is not the first time Tebow came to the aid of Filipinos. According to the Christian Post, the Heisman Trophy winner has preached the Gospel to Filipino children and villages before and has supported evangelists serving in the country as well.