We mentioned Rising in America, a nonprofit group donating tickets to young refugees, in our previous post covering the Phoenix-Vancouver match. Since then, it seems that the group has received an even more bountiful lot of attention and recognition. They are truly making hurdles toward helping refugees in Arizona.
The group has been meeting their quotas in ticket donations and supporting displaced youth. Rising in America rapidly sold out their 40 tickets designated for the refugees they serve. This boom in popularity has led to a partnership with Uber, who has been providing 20 free roundtrip codes for refugee families to help them get to and from the stadium. The Phoenix Rising Football Club management has also responded by providing comped tickets to the youth.
The project operates under the CO+HOOTS foundation, a Phoenix-based collaborative and “supercharger for innovation.”
“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?” asked CO+HOOTS co-founder Odeen Domingo.
The Welcome to America Project (WATP) has been tasked with distributing the tickets. They are the bridge between ticket donations and the youth themselves.
“The refugees WTAP serves love soccer and many grew up watching Didier Drogba,” WATP Executive Director Collin Cunningham said. “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.”
The Rising in America project may owe some of its growing success from the Facebook community, Phoenix Rising FC Talk. With over 1,914 members, the group has served as a platform for Rising FC fans to applaud Rising in America’s efforts. Community members have offered thanks, praise, pride, and even some season tickets.
Though Rising in America sold out their tickets for the past match against Real Monarchs SLC (which ended in a 1-1 draw by the way), they welcome continuing support moving forward.
To buy tickets that will be donated to refugees, call PRFC Account Specialist Joey Castor at
For more information, you may also contact Odeen Domingo.
A Final Note
Projects like this are a reflection of why Phoenix is home to the greatest fanbase in the USL. Amid general controversy and vitriol throughout the nation, Phoenix soccer fans are distinguishing themselves as a solid, giving community. The spirit of camaraderie is thriving with each goal Rising FC scores, and Phoenix is finding more to be dignified for.