Today we’d like to introduce you to Denise Hamilton.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Tom Young attended a Sold-out Rockets game when they were last in the playoffs in 1995 and saw 4 seats on the floor behind the player’s bench that were unoccupied the entire game. He considered the effect sitting in those seats would have on some foster children he was working with as a volunteer for Casa de Esperanza.
Some time passed and in 2005, he established Texas TicKids to solicit unused event tickets from individuals, corporations and venues to be placed in the hands of Children’s Charities all over Houston and the greater East Texas Area. While most venues have a system in place to recycle unused tickets they primarily deal with largely established charities. TicKids is able to offer tickets that are donated or purchased to charities large and small, including those that are routinely operating on shoestring budgets with disadvantaged and at-risk youth and their families or caretakers.
We raise money to also purchase group tickets to be able to send larger groups to events such as the Circus, Disney on Ice, Professional theater, Ballet, Symphony, college and professional sporting events and local theater. Donated and purchased tickets are posted on our website for all our charity directors to see and choose for their groups. We use a variety of delivery methods including will call, e-ticketing and volunteer delivery.
We have facilitated the transfer of over 100,000 tickets into the hands of local charities so they can experience a joy and excitement that they have only imagined. We have had tickets donated to the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, Formula one races, College Bowl games and so many more sporting and cultural events.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It is always a process to provide enough tickets and events to help our charities find something to provide joy to their youth. The more charities we sign up, the more tickets we want to find to allow them to have some of these special experiences.
We raise money to purchase tickets and that is primarily the function of our annual golf Tournament held in October. Fundraising and soliciting tickets are the two biggest hurdles, whereas finding youth participating in charities is a never ending pool. Every child that has a positive experience makes our “job” a successful venture.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
We are most proud of the lives we are able to positively impact. We hope that they take these experiences and either develop a sporting interest or possibly want to delve further into the arts. It also is a chance to step away from what may be a stressful time of their life either because of economic disadvantage or family issues and spend some time with chaperones or mentors who care about them.
What were you like growing up?
I have been fortunate to enjoy a warm, loving atmosphere all of my life with both a close family and a tight-knit circle of friends that made me feel safe and secure. The youth we work with definitely come from a different perspective and that makes me want to help in some small way.
My family is well known as an inclusive, welcoming group and we include friends and friends of friends in our activities and travels. Maybe that is why Tom and I (he is my brother) feel that TicKids is extending that hand to so many youths around Houston and lifting them up.