Portland’s Powell Park was especially busy on June 9, 2015. More than 30 soccer players and volunteers, including Timbers’ forward Maximiliano Urruti, gathered for a Stand Together Week scrimmage. While kicking the ball around, 4WU’s players learned about the hard work and commitment required to play soccer at a high level.
4WU players between the ages of five and 14 swarmed Urruti, an admired Striker. Don Brown, who was at the event and serves on 4WU’s board of directors, noted players who are not familiar with local soccer culture still know “it’s something special” when a professional soccer player takes time to encourage his city’s least advantaged children. Brown says, “Stand Together Week shows 4WU kids there is a community beyond their low-incoming housing complex that cares about them.”
Most 4WU players are refugee and immigrant children. Abby Rotwein, who runs 4WU’s Soccer in the Park program, agrees Stand Together Week is a source of encouragement for her players. She says Urruti shared an important message with players, explaining “This is achieved through hard work. It’s all about what you’re putting in, and if you want to be successful at anything, soccer or life, what you put in is what is really important.”
This is the third year the Portland Timbers have inspired 4WU players and volunteers during Stand Together Week, a week-long community initiative aimed at supporting non-profits focused on aiding youth and the environment. This year’s scrimmage fell on the same evening as high school graduation, so 4WU was especially pleased so many players enthusiastically participated. 4WU thanks the Portland Timbers and Hands on Greater Portland for supporting our organization during Stand Together Week and throughout the year.