At TickTalk, everything we do, we do with a true interest in helping families. We started TickTalk to give parents, just like us, a solution to the same problem we all seemed to be facing. We grew by sincerely caring about our customers, and listening to their feedback. As a startup, we can’t compete with the multi-billion dollar budgets of massive companies–but what we can offer is that same intrinsic interest in helping families.
TickTalk Gives allows us to do what we do best–help families of all shapes and sizes. From breast cancer awareness to giving a warm Thanksgiving meal to families battling homelessness in L.A. to donating toys for the holidays to children in local hospitals to helping the planet, we’re using our platform to help organizations doing amazing things on a global scale.
We sat down with TickTalk co-founder and President, Ying Gong, on what TickTalk Gives is, what we hope to accomplish, and why this is such a huge step forward.
As a parent, how do you think giving back encourages our kids to find value in knowing they can make a difference?
As parents, we hope to teach our children values–kindness, love, acceptance, and the difference between right and wrong. We can tell our kids to treat others the way they’d want to be treated, but the best way for them to learn empathy and understanding is to experience it. By making giving back a family activity, our kids get to see from a young age the importance of respect and kindness towards others. We live in a divided time right now, but at the end of the day, we hope to instill in our children that every human being deserves respect and kindness.
Why did you want to start TickTalk Gives?
Technology as a whole advances society while benefiting mankind and is rapidly advancing. We, as the technology industry, have an opportunity to push philanthropic endeavors forward at the same pace. Howe we judge a company’s success shouldn’t be just about profits, but more importantly, how they are giving back to society. At TickTalk, our products are created for families and we hope to lead by example, showing the impact of giving back with an emphasis on values, equality, and social responsibility.
How has giving back informed your parenting style and how you raise your daughter?
My daughter is extremely loving, especially towards animals–so much so that our family has adopted 2 large dogs, 8 cats, 2 turtles, and 5 rabbits. Taking care of these animals was a huge challenge for me, but I realized how great of an opportunity this was for my daughter. Before we rescued these animals, I had a serious conversation with my daughter explaining the importance of this decision--that these animals were going to be a part of our family, they were not toys, and it would be a lifetime commitment. Secondly, this would be a family responsibility and as a member of this family, she would have responsibility in caring for them.
This is just one simple example and I’m sure many parents have done the same thing. Giving back is a big subject and can be challenging for adults, let alone children. For me, starting with small things that interest her, like loving animals, helps her to experience the joy of caring for others and hopefully inspires her to continue giving. Since then, she’s volunteered many times and has participated in donation activities at school and community organizations. Although she's a child with limited resources and money, it’s important to me that she understands the importance of giving outside of how much is given.
Becoming more sustainable is one of TickTalk’s main goals and E-waste is a growing issue more consumers are becoming aware of. What advice do you have for tech companies to reduce toxic e-waste and what should customers look for when searching for a more sustainable tech option?
E-waste is incredibly harmful to our health, and the environment, containing toxic substances like mercury, which damages the brain and nervous system. The constant release of new technology products causes us to continue buying and throwing away, rapidly increasing the e-waste crisis. Many tech companies only care about sales or growth, without regard for their product’s effects on the environment. Technology companies have a responsibility to help reduce e-waste and the best way is with Recycle & Refurbish programs. Manufacturers and retailers can easily offer trade-in services to allow customers to responsibly recycle their older electronic products, keeping them from deteriorating in a landfill.
Although TickTalk is a young company, we started our Trade-In & Recycle program two years ago for not only our products but any kid’s smartwatch brand, allowing us to responsibly recycle electronic waste. In our future product development and production, we’ll be adhering to principles to protect the environment, select materials that reduce pollution, and switch to eco-friendly packaging.
There aren’t many children’s technology brands giving back, yet most major major technology brands are. Why is it important to you that TickTalk sets that example?
To us, giving back has nothing to do with what industry you’re in or the size of your company, but rather your corporate values. Everything we do falls within the principles of giving back and doing good. We live for our children and if we aren’t giving back and actively investing in a better future for them, what are we doing?
We started our company to help families around the world connect safely. As we grow, our mission to help families globally gets to broaden outside of our products and work with organizations doing amazing things. TickTalk Gives is another road on our mission to help families connect, feel safe, and stay together.