Charity site turning tickets into donations

November 23, 2013 (CHICAGO)

These students get a kick out of "Rocking Out" at the real life "School of Rock" on the city's Northwest Side. They get vocal training and learn to perform rock 'n roll classics. Many of the students say the experience is unmatched.

"Before I came here, I used to like hit stuff and hand drum and when I saw this opportunity, I wanted to play drums so badly that I just yelled it out," said student Axel Juarez.

Ten-year-old Axel Juarez along with his brother and sister are among several students who receive scholarships. Their mom says they need the financial assistance.

"It makes a big difference," said parent Grethel Juarez. "It helps for us to be able to bring them here and bring the three of them here. Otherwise, we wouldn't be able to do it."

The School of Rock's scholarship fund is one of hundreds of charities that have signed on to

Here's how the site works: First you search the site for tickets to an event. Purchase them and then choose a charity from the list. That charity gets 7 percent of your ticket price. If the tickets have a heart next to them, they were donated. Your charity will get 90 percent of your purchase price.

"In addition to our donated tickets, we have literally anywhere from 7-and-a-half to 10 million tickets available on the site today because of a partnership we have with the secondary ticket provider," said founder Mary Nemetz. "We are the only exchange out there that allows you to find those same tickets, competitive prices and to make a difference with that purchase."

Charitable organizations say the ticket exchange is especially good for them because people can give back 24-7 without any extra effort.

"They give that money back to Rock School Scholarship Fund or cancer research or whomever they select when they buy their tickets," said Adam MacIntosh, regional manager, School of Rock Chicago. "They're a very generous organization and it's going to go many, many miles for getting scholarship students into Rock School."

When you have tickets that you can't use, you can donate them to the site and get a tax receipt. The charity you choose then has the option of letting them get sold on the site or taking them off the site and using them to auction or however it can best benefit.

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