A project that Jack MacDonald started in high school has grown into a non-profit organization called the GI Tickets Foundation. The Villanova junior has been organizing groups of fellow students at Villanova and the University of Pennsylvania to help get free tickets for returning veterans to see local professional sports teams -- easing their transition back from war with something fun and relaxing.
"We get the tickets by...one, we'll used monetary donations to buy them, two...season ticket holders will donate them, three...we'll work with teams directly, and the fourth way we do it through major corporations," explains MacDonald. "Most recently Goldman Sachs said they would be donating their unused corporate tickets."
The foundation has worked closely with the Yankees, Devils, Eagles, Phillies and 76ers to help distribute the free tickets to soldiers stationed at New Jersey's Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. Officials at the base are responsible for helping to pair the service-members with a tickets provided by the foundation.
The service has treated 400 veterans and their families to a game so far, and only appears to be growing.
They accept donations of both cash and tickets on their website, GITicketsFoundation.org. The organization is a registered 501(c)(3), which allows donors to claim a tax deduction. Their immediate goal is to reach $100,000-worth of tickets distributed; they succeeded in distributing $40,000 in tickets between 2011 and 2013.