'Rising In America' donates Phoenix Rising FC tickets to refugees in Phoenix

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"Rising In America" offers fans the opportunity to purchase tickets that would go directly into the hands of refugees. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) "Rising In America" offers fans the opportunity to purchase tickets that would go directly into the hands of refugees. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
The tickets costed $10 and offered refugees an opportunity to watch pre-match warmups from the sideline. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The tickets costed $10 and offered refugees an opportunity to watch pre-match warmups from the sideline. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
The program launched June 10 to huge success with the 20 tickets selling out in less than 30 minutes. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The program launched June 10 to huge success with the 20 tickets selling out in less than 30 minutes. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Four prominent Phoenix-based companies from different industries have partnered to support “Rising in America,” a fan-driven program that donates Phoenix Rising FC tickets to refugees in Phoenix.

The program was created in partnership with Phoenix Rising FC, Phoenix’s professional soccer club; The Welcome to America Project, a nonprofit that helps refugees settle into Phoenix; CO+HOOTS, Phoenix’s largest coworking community; and Uber Arizona, the Phoenix branch of the popular ride-hailing app.

Last Saturday, Phoenix Rising FC blocked out 40 tickets for people to buy for refugees to attend the home match against Real Monarchs. With the tickets came a chance for refugees and their families to also got a chance to watch pre-match warmups from the sideline.

[MORE: Phoenix Rising: Keep the game hot but keep the fans cool]

“Phoenix Rising FC embraces our diverse community and understands how important it is to have impactful relationships that will inspire and benefit our youth,” said Heber Valenzuela, Phoenix Rising FC's community and partnership marketing manager in a news release. “We fell in love with Rising In America’s mission to nourish our refugee community through the beautiful game.”

The program launched on June 10 and allows anyone to buy discounted tickets, $10 each, to Phoenix Rising FC home matches that will go directly into the hands of refugees in Phoenix. Rising In America launched with huge success, as the 20 tickets allotted for refugee children sold out in less than 30 minutes.

“Many refugees love soccer, so what better way to make them feel more welcome in America than helping them experience a professional soccer match here, especially one featuring the world-famous Didier Drogba,” said Odeen Domingo, co-founder of CO+HOOTS. “They may not know professional soccer exists here or have the means or the access to technology to purchase tickets.

“I wanted to show that our community here does welcome refugees and has the generosity to help someone less fortunate experience something that could be once-in-a-lifetime,” said Domingo.

[RELATED: Soccer sensation Drogba delivers on promise in Phoenix Rising FC debut]

Refugees and their families are selected through the Welcome to America Project’s roster of people they have helped over the years.

“The refugees Welcome to America Project serves love soccer and many grew up watching Didier Drogba,” said Collin Cunningham, Welcome to America Project’s executive director. “Rising In America was the perfect opportunity to connect refugee youth with great soccer right here in Phoenix. This is a dream come true for many of these kids.”

Uber Arizona recently joined to support the program by setting up 20 free roundtrip codes for refugee families to use to help get them to and from the stadium in Scottsdale.

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