“Give something to those who gave.”
A simple line… with so much meaning.
If you are a first responder, member of the U.S. military or a veteran and haven’t heard about the nonprofit organization VetTix- that also powers 1stTix, take a moment to read on to learn about the great things that they are doing for the communities of the helpers.
They’re on a mission to give away millions of free tickets for concerts, sporting events and more to those that know the true meaning of service and sacrifice.
They’re called 1st Tix, which is powered by Veterans Ticket Foundation or VetTix… and in the last year, they’ve made a huge impact on the first responder community.
After having an incredible amount of success with giving away millions of event tickets to members of the military and veterans, VetTix decided to spread its reach to include emergency first responders. 1stTix got started in August of 2018, and in a little over one year have already given nearly 100,000 tickets away to fist responders and their families who deserve it most.
“In just one year, 1st Tix has provided thousands of tickets to sporting events, concerts, performing arts, family activities, and more, nationwide,” said Michael Focareto, Veteran Tickets Foundation founder, CEO and Navy veteran.
“Our goal has been, and will continue to be, to serve first responders as a way to thank them as they keep our families and communities safe each and every day.”
To date, more than 9,407,510 million tickets have been distributed to over 110,587 different events since the VetTix organization was created in 2008. Of those numbers, 148,791 members are active or retired first responders on the 1stTix platform. Combined, Vet Tix and 1st Tix have over 1.6 million members nationwide which include first responders, military members and veterans of all eras.
Want to become a member and get free tickets? Here’s how easy it is to sign up to get yours:
Any current or retired first responder can head to the 1stTtix website and register to receive free tickets to upcoming events in your local area. Once you have created an account with 1st Tix, you will be required to verify your first responder status through the website ID.me which will require some basic information and identification from your designated agency.
You will then receive daily emails about events that are available in your local area.
If there is an event you’d like to attend, you then select it and you will be entered into a lottery. The 1st Tix lottery system then randomly chooses winners, then notifies them via email they’ve been selected.
Those selected in the lottery are required to pay a small delivery fee and then their tickets will be sent to them. That’s it.
Why do they do it?
Simply put… not enough is being done to thank these brave heroes.
More than thirty percent of first responders have been diagnosed with a mental health disorder, like depression and PTSD, with eighty-four percent citing they have encountered trauma on the job.
So, by assisting them in strengthening family bonds, creating positive memories and encouraging engagement with the communities they serve… things might be just a little bit better for those who serve.
How do they do it?
1st Tix is a national nonprofit organization that evolved from Vet Tix (Veteran Tickets Foundation) which was created in 2008. 1st Tix provides tickets to events that help reduce stress, strengthen family bonds, create positive memories, and encourage first responders to stay engaged with local communities and American life. 1st Tix supports the brave men and women who answer our emergency calls by honoring their service with positive family and life experiences.
Once you are a member you receive virtual appreciation coins that are used as ‘currency’ for ticket lotteries. Monthly, 2 Coins will be added to your account every month to your account. But there are other ways that you can obtain more coins, that can increase your chances of winning ticket lotteries.
Members also have the ability to earn coins by referring their friends. By referring other first responder friends, 15 coins can be added to your account and 15 coins to your friend’s account when you refer someone who is a law enforcement officer, firefighter, EMT, or paramedic, and their status has been verified. This is only awarded when they use your linking methods from your referral page at the time of their verification.
There are several other ways to interact with 1stTix in order to gain more appreciation coins which can be found on their website once you have a verified account.
Here are what some of the current users have to say about the 1stTix program:
“Thank you 1st Tix and Live Nation for the opportunity to enjoy a night out with friends, we even met new friends enjoying the same opportunity through 1st Tix. Without 1st Tix and amazing donors, we would not be able to attend events like this. Thanks again,” – Matthew (Brad Paisley Concert)
“Thank you to Palm Beach Improv for providing us with a great night of comedy with Adam Ferrara! I was able to bring a fellow first responder and his wife who has recently been going through some health issues and they both really needed a good night out! Thank you!!!” – Bryan (Palm Beach Improv)
“Thank you for providing us with the opportunity to enjoy such amazing events. Keep up the good job of blessing those veterans and first responders. I really enjoyed myself and had a lot of fun.” – Michael (NFL Preseason Game)
The overall goal of the organization is to make sure that those who serve and protect our communities and our country understand that they are not alone and that they are appreciated.
Focareto says that after being so involved on the veteran side with Vet Tix, he’s so happy to be able to continue serving even more of our country’s heroes.
“Over the past eleven years, we’ve seen an excellent response from the veteran and military community, one we’re honored to see matched in this first responder community,” he said.
For more information on the 1stTix or VetTix program can be found directly at their website www.1sttix.org .
Not a veteran or a first responder, but still want to support the organization and our nation’s heroes, you can become a sponsor or a donor at www.1sttix.org/donate .