Coming from a background of the non-profit world, I have the utmost respect for many charities who work tirelessly for their causes.
During my tenure as a fundraiser, I encountered Kids Up Front Toronto and was impressed by their mission and impact. So I was excited to introduce them to the youth clients and to all the staff members that I worked with.
Now as a parent blogger, I am excited to introduce this amazing organization to all of you and this is way overdue.
“Remember your first concert. Now imagine giving a child that feeling for the first time.”
Kids Up Front believes that all children deserve to experience the magic of the theatre or the excitement of a hockey game. Kids Up Front makes sure that children and their families affected by poverty, abuse, illness as well as newcomers to Toronto gain exposure to the community through the distribution of tickets.
How did it all start?
“Kids Up Front began in Calgary in 1999. Our founder, John Dalziel was surrounded by empty seats in the Saddledome and believed that thousands of deserving children and youth could benefit from unused tickets. Kids Up Front Toronto’s founding Executive Director, Lindsay Oughtred, had the same idea in 2006. She was a high school English teacher, inspired to fill seats on the field trips she was taking her students on. Lindsay discovered Kids Up Front, left the classroom behind, and the rest is history! Kids Up Front operates in Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa, and Atlantic Canada.”
The Impact on the Lives of Children, Families and the City of Toronto
The impact of the work that is being done by Kids Up Front Toronto is one that uplifts children, families and the whole community.
• Children benefit from developing a sense of belonging; feeling included; gaining exposure to “normal” childhood experiences.
• Parents benefit from feeling valued; having the means to give their child a special experience; re-connecting with their child in a positive way.
• Families benefit from sharing constructive leisure activities; encouraging positive social interaction between parents, children and siblings; healing and strengthening relationships.
• Communities benefit from having engaged citizens; strengthening of community values; inspiring future leaders.
“Thanks to our generous donors and over 240 agency partners, Kids Up Front Toronto distributed nearly 85,000 tickets valued at over $2.8 million in 2017. Children have community building experiences that help boost self-esteem and families form stronger ties by allowing parents and children to connect in a positive way. We believe Kids Up Front is helping to create a more inclusive city by removing financial and social barriers.
Making a Difference Through Kids Up Front
“Kids Up Front is a simple idea with an incredible impact. Thanks to our extensive network in the GTA, we are able to accept tickets (even just hours before game time or show time!) and get them into the hands of children and youth who do not otherwise have the opportunity. Kids Up Front also provides charitable tax receipts for the value of the ticket donation (with proof of purchase). It truly is a win-win for everyone!
If you don’t have tickets to donate, EchoAge birthday parties are another great way to help Kids Up Front give deserving kids a break.”
It is easy to make a difference in the lives of children and their families through Kids Up Front Toronto. You can donate your tickets, donate money or even donate your time. So many options to make a world of a difference in the community.
How Can a Child Be Referred To Benefit From Kids Up Front
“Kids Up Front partners with child and youth serving agencies to ensure our tickest are going to families who will truly benefit from these incredible gifts.”
To see a list of these amazing agency partners, click here.
Upcoming This Year
“We are working toward our goal of 100,000 tickets valued at over $3 million by 2020. The more tickets we have, the more people we are able to reach. We would love to finally get rid of our waiting list of agencies looking to partner with Kids Up Front. We are also continuing to raise our profile in Toronto. We want every single person in the city to know what to do with their unused tickets.
Nationally, we can’t wait to watch Kids Up Front Ottawa and Kids Up Front Atlantic grow in their first full year as our newest Kids Up Front regions.”
I have personally seen the impact that Kids Up Front Toronto has done in the community. The smiles, excitement and pure enjoyment that the youth and kids exhibit during an event is the most heart tugging moment for anyone to see.
So if you have tickets that you can’t use or just want to give a child an opportunity of a lifetime, then I say Kids Up Front is the place to start in making a difference!
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Tanya, Program Manager at Kids Up Front Toronto for taking the time to do this exclusive interview with us at Momma Braga.
Until next time…Happy Parenting!