What started in 1996 as a simple high school volunteer opportunity, has turned into a lifelong passion for Tim Ward.
Tim still vividly remembers that first time volunteering, meeting residents like Jimmy who he bonded with over metal music and seeing how much of a difference donating time could truly
make. That experience inspired him to become the philanthropic leader he is today.
Tim spent his professional life creating multiple successful businesses including TTSG, where he serves as President today. TTSG has become a vital corporate partner to Little City, both by helping Little City operate day-to-day through the technology services they deliver and in support of special events such as the Little City Invitational.
Tim took time to reflect on his 25+ year relationship with Little City and how important it has been in his life.
Q: How was that first experience volunteering with Little City and was it something you knew you would love right away?
Tim: It’s funny because when you are a kid you are worried about school, sports, hanging out with friends and volunteering is kind of the last thing you want to do. But then you do it and it hits you. And at a place like Little City where you are working with people with developmental and intellectual disabilities, you can see the difference you are making right there on their faces. To still be involved with Little City is kind of a full-circle moment for me having grown up right by it and going to Fremd High School right down the road.
Q: After you went to college and started your businesses, did you always know you would come back to Little City?
Tim: As an entrepreneur you always want to be philanthropic. You have all your plans but then there are some plans that are just made for you. Some things are meant to be. With Little City, from that first moment I volunteered, that first donation, it was a wrap. I knew I was always going to be involved.
Q: TTSG has been involved with Little City as a service provider, a sponsor for things like the Little
City Invitational, was it always the plan for the company to be that involved?
Tim: The deal between Little City and TTSG really came together after a conversation with Shawn [Jeffers] and seeing if there was any way we could work together. After taking a look at how things were going, speaking to employees who used some of the technology we could offer, it became clear we could be a help. It’s been amazing to be part of setting up some of the foundation that helped with the expansion Little City has had over the years. And the Little City Invitational has always been an important event to me and I love being part of it any way I can. Being able to sponsor the event and help it grow is fun!
Q: You have the unique perspective of getting involved with Little City in 1996 before Shawn got here to now seeing how Little City looks as he is set to retire. How much has changed in your view?
Tim: Shawn is the best thing that ever happened to Little City. He came at a time where Little City really, really needed him and it was in some trouble. The coolest thing about running a business is seeing the growth and expansion and it is the same for 501(c)3s. The amount Little City has grown over the last 20 years from the campus to the homes is amazing. But I have worked with a lot of nonprofits and you don’t see the kind of leadership that Little City has. You don’t see the kind of transparency Little City has and you don’t see the kind of employees Little City has. The people here really care and that starts at the top. That’s what makes Little City so special.
We are so thankful for friends and partners like Tim and TTSG – it is their generosity that helps move this mission for hundreds of individuals in more ways than one. Thank you for years of commitment to helping individuals with disabilities reach their unique potential always!