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A Message From Our CEO

Dear Friends of Tickets for Kids,

As the Thanksgiving holiday rapidly approaches, I am filled with immense gratitude for each and every one of you who are part of the Tickets for Kids community. Your presence is truly what sets our mission apart.

It’s incredible to witness the resilience of the TFK network over the past few years and the profound impact it has had on the children and families we serve. In 2023 alone, we’ve had the privilege of 
providing 165,721 tickets for a wide range of enriching experiences, from museum visits to theater outings and thrilling sports events. It’s essential to remember that these experiences go far beyond just tickets; they create enduring memories. For heartfelt testimonials from our agency partners and the kids themselves, you can explore our testimonials page here.

Across various markets nationwide, every single ticket reaches a child who not only discovers new horizons but also feels valued, included, and nurtured by the caring adults in their lives in fresh and imaginative ways. In our four core markets, it’s the collaborative efforts of ticket donors, financial supporters, and youth-serving nonprofit partners that have made all of this possible. Here’s a glimpse of our impact in those regions:

 • In the Pittsburgh region, 50,220 tickets have been matched through partnerships with 609 youth-serving organizations.

• In the Minnesota region, 43,088 tickets have been matched through partnerships with 361 youth-serving organizations.

• In the New York City Metro area, 18,894 tickets have been matched through partnerships with 181 youth-serving organizations.

• In the Washington DC Metro area, 16,001 tickets have been matched through partnerships with 181 youth-serving organizations.

• Additionally, we’ve distributed 34,481 tickets in secondary markets, including San Diego, Seattle, Boston, Chicago, and Los Angeles.

None of this would have been achievable without the remarkable individuals, foundations, and corporations that have provided vital financial support for our operations. Thanks to their generosity, we’ve been able to fully reinstate our team this year, a significant milestone since 2020. Behind the scenes, our dedicated team works tirelessly to secure tickets, manage our partnerships with youth-serving agencies, and ensure that tickets reach those who need them the most. I’m deeply grateful for their unwavering commitment to our mission. If you haven’t had the chance to meet our fantastic team of 10, 
you can find more information by clicking here. Stay tuned for our upcoming newsletters starting in January, where we’ll introduce one team member in each edition.

To all of you within the Tickets for Kids family, I extend my heartfelt gratitude on behalf of the children and families whose lives are brightened by our collective efforts. Thank you for being an integral part of this vital mission.

Warmest regards,

Jason J. Riley
President & CEO

Welcoming Most Valuable Kids D.C. into the Tickets for Kids Family

Tickets for Kids® and Most Valuable Kids D.C. to Consolidate Efforts to Inspire Kids

PITTSBURGH, PA – (May 27, 2021) National nonprofit Tickets for Kids announced today that it will merge the operations of Most Valuable Kids Washington D.C. into the organization beginning June 1, 2021.

Both organizations have spent decades providing access for under-resourced kids and families to all sorts of ticketed experiences – sports, family entertainment, the arts, museums, and more. The two organizations share the common goals of inspiring children to aspire to greatness through exposure to new experiences. Collectively, the two organizations have provided more than 3 million tickets worth more than $74 million.

“This is an opportunity to consolidate the best that both organizations have to offer, expanding the impact of our shared mission to inspire kids by providing access to opportunities they might otherwise be excluded from,” said Tickets for Kids Executive Director Jason J. Riley. “We are grateful to Daryle and Beth Bobb, the founders of Most Valuable Kids, for their partnership and are excited to expand our impact throughout the D.C. metro area.”

Most Valuable Kids’ Founder Daryle Bobb said “We are very excited that through partnership with Tickets for Kids the mission of the organization will continue to flourish in the region. Beth and I are incredibly proud of the legacy that Most Valuable Kids D.C. will leave, and happy that Tickets for Kids will continue the work of building upon that legacy.”

Bobb will join the national board of directors of Tickets for Kids as Most Valuable Kids D.C. transitions to the Tickets for Kids brand. Chapters of Most Valuable Kids in Cincinnati and Atlanta will remain independent organizations.

Tickets for Kids began in 1994 in Pittsburgh, PA, acquiring donated tickets and matching them to those most in need. Since then, the model has been replicated in markets across the country. A trusted partner to both ticket providers and youth-serving nonprofits, more than 2,000 nonprofit partners benefit from the tickets donated by entities ranging from national sports leagues and musical superstars to local and regional theaters, museums, zoos, and more. The operations of the organization are funded by generous individuals, corporations, and foundations.

Building Benefits With Block Play

Without being prompted, kids often gravitate toward toys and activities that encourage them to build. Whether it’s stacking other toys, books, and objects, playing with simple wooden blocks, or construction toys like LEGOs, that drive to bring their ideas to life comes from kids’ natural desire to learn through a hands-on activity.

When children engage in building and construction play, they’re privy to unique developmental benefits that can help them academically and socially. As most parents can attest, specific toy sets aren’t always needed to facilitate this — kids will work with just what they have on hand, making forts out of empty boxes and towers from plastic cups, using their imaginations all the while.

In celebration of National LEGO Day, which takes place this January 28th, let’s examine some of the benefits of construction play.

  • It improves spatial reasoning: Conceptualizing objects in three dimensions, including the ability to envision how objects would look when moved or rotated, is called spatial reasoning. While some people are naturally better at this than others, certain activities can help to improve spatial reasoning, including construction play. [1]
  • It increases cognitive flexibility: Switching back and forth between activities requires patience, focus, and skill, culminating in an ability called cognitive flexibility. Greater cognitive flexibility is attained through experience, and construction play is linked to improvements in the skill. [2]
  • It stimulates creative thought: The use of creativity, imagination, and role-play in childhood activities is developmentally important — it encourages kids to be divergent thinkers and boosts their social aptitude. When engaging in construction play, kids have the opportunity to focus on their own ideas, stimulating their creativity and encouraging the future implementation of creative problem-solving. [3]
The benefits of LEGO play - Infographic

To learn more about the history of National Lego Day and discover some fun facts about the popular building blocks, click here.   

Arthur Grant,

Lynd-a-Hand to Tickets for Kids

We can't wait to see you at LynLake Brewery!

Join us at:
2934 Lyndale Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55408

5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Ticket for Kids believes that experiences matter; every child should have the opportunity to be inspired by a trip to the zoo, museum, theater, or ballgame regardless of their economic circumstances. That is why Tickets for Kids partners with ticket donors, community partners, and social service agencies to inspire these dreams.

All of our tickets are donated and provided free of charge to our social service agency partners and their kids. Our methods are so efficient that we are able to provide experiences such as Twins games, Disney on Ice, Children’s Theatre performances, and Science Museum visits for an administration cost of only $3.25 per ticket! Your donation makes this entire process possible.

Did you know a donation of just $20 allows 5 children to access impactful experiences?

Can you help kids dream bigger with access to these important experiences?

Yes! I want to inspire children