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Variety - The Children's Charity of Wisconsin

Rating: 4.97 stars   64 reviews 5,506


12425 Knoll Rd. Suite 110 Elm Grove WI 53122 USA


Providing life-enriching assistance to Wisconsin children challenged by physical disabilities.

Target demographics:

Variety serves Wisconsin children who are challenged by physical disabilities, 21 years of age and younger and whose needs are not met by other sources, including family, school, insurance and service program resources.

Direct beneficiaries per year:

In 2014, we directly helped 34 children get the durable medical equipment, therapy and services they needed and purchased approximately $56,000 through our Freedom Program. We hosted 34 events through the Future Kids program with more than 2,050 participants. We hosted 18 families for Chatter Matters! Communication Camp.

Geographic areas served:



The Variety Freedom Program encompasses mobility, communications and experiences. The Freedom Program exists to help children with physical challenges obtain confidence, freedom and independence by funding durable medical equipment, such as wheelchairs, walkers, van lifts, house ramps, adaptive car seats and strollers, specially-equipped bicycles and tricycles, bath equipment and stair lifts, for those with the greatest financial need.

The Variety Future Kids Program provides memorable educational and play experiences that would likely be inaccessible to children with physical challenges due to mobility or financial restrictions. The program takes children and their immediate family members on fun, free outings.

Chatter Matters! Communication Camp is a residential camp for children who use speech generating devices and their entire family to become better communicators in a fun, traditional camp setting.

2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Reviews for Variety - The Children's Charity of Wisconsin

Rating: 5 stars  

Chatter Matters is a great organization that has really impacted our family. We enjoy the many activities that are offered and the opportunity to learn more about our child's device. We are able to attend events that we normally could not afford. THANK YOU Chatter Matters and keep up the great work!!!!

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

2015 was my family's first year experiencing Variety! The staff is really nice and welcoming. My family enjoyed a few Buck's games and we also attended the Chatter Matters camp, which was great!!! We look forward to attending many more Variety events!!! The Baker Family:)

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Rating: 5 stars  

AMAZING STAFF ! They work with their hearts and their minds intertwined to help children with limiting abilities become more independent in communication, in the community and physically.Our family is super grateful for all the FUTURE KIDS events that get us out into the community and our child socializing, communicating and involved . Thank you variety for being a bright spot of accessibility and HOPE !

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Rating: 5 stars  

We have been involved with Variety for 3 years, now. They have helped us tremendously with many aspects of having a special needs child. From communication device, to an adaptive bicycle. Not to mention the fun events!

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Rating: 5 stars  

Our youngest daughter, Kira, was diagnosed at age 2 with Rett syndrome, after losing her ability to stand, talk and use her hands functionally. She has used a low tech communication book (PODD) for 6 years and 2 years ago started using her Tobii, a speech generating device she controls with her eyes. We were able to attend the Chatter Matters camp this summer and have so much to be grateful for. The camp was structured to offer Kira a camp experience, much like her siblings, but with significant emphasis on creating opportunities for her to utilize her communication device in meaningful, engaging situations, while meeting new friends and having fun. The staff was amazing! There were students who are going into the speech pathology profession, working side by side with veteran speech pathologists and other professionals. Our days were filled with activities and staff were right there to help. Parents were offered opportunities to meet with specialists while kids were actively engaged in activities with so many volunteers. Kira requires 1:1 attention and I felt comfortable going to the parent sessions while others cared for and interacted with her.
The camp was a time for Kira to be included in all activities with other children. Siblings attended and were engaged as well.
It's not often Kira participates in something that I can stand back and let go of my worries. I am usually trying to adapt whatever "typical" activity is going on, but here was a place Kira fit in, and camp was ready for her.
I appreciated the time spent learning from and sharing experiences with other parents who "get it". Although our children are different, we all understand the intensity of raising a child with special needs, advocating for their needs and trying to find solutions to any number of situations. Kira left camp with a stronger understanding of how to use her communication device, and a treasured week of camp memories she has shared with her 3rd grade class. I left camp with new circle of friends, a bonus I hadn't anticipated. Thank you Variety, for the opportunity to participate in Chatter Matters!

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Rating: 5 stars  

We received a wheel chair lift for our home from variety a few years back. It has been a god send to our family we are able to take our son to many events with other variety families with such ease along with everyday life events.

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

My son Nicolas is a loving 4 yr old at the age of 5 months he was injured and diagnosed with Non accidental brain injury. Since moving to Wisconsin Variety has allowed my other children and Nicolas to participate in dream nights such as the bucks games, and admirals games along with the ren faire these are things that with a child of special needs we as a family can not possibly find the extra money to spend on things like this. As we are busy buying items for Nicolas' care and as toys for him that are adaptive to him and his needs. Variety has allowed us as a family to offer a childhood to our other 2 children that in the light of Nicolas injuries we would have been unable to provide and still provide the best for Nicolas.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Many dream night activities. With out the hard work of the people at Variety my family and I would not have met some great families struggling with the same things and matters that we do and they have helped point us in the right direction for many opportunities

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

See that these fine ladies that run this organization had a bit more help in the office.

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

So excited about future activities and family out reach.We attend the holiday move last year and was very impressed with everyone.We have 3 kids with special needs and are hoping to connect with more families.
Thanks Variety.

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Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

Thank you Variety for all that you do to help special needs children and their families! My daughter Adalyn was the lucky recipient of a new adaptive bike from Variety! We actually are going tomorrow afternoon to pick it up, Can't wait!

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Rating: 5 stars  

Because my daughter has Down Syndrome, we've been able to take part in many of the sponsored events Variety has been able to offer our family. We've gone to events that we never would have been able to take part in otherwise. Blue Lotus Farms, Christmas party at Marcus Cinema, sporting events, plays, and the list goes on. Thank you for making life more enjoyable by providing outlets for our "special" daughter! -Jackie Marz

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

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How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

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Rating: 5 stars  

We are new to Variety and have only been to one event, but that one event was amazing! Being around families just like ours and being able to relate to them was just amazing and at no cost to us! We receive emails for other amazing free events that our family wouldn't normally be able to afford due to medical bills. We look forward to attending many more events with Variety with our family!

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Rating: 5 stars  

Great organization, really helped my disabled daughter feel part of the community! We have been to several different events, brewers game, Bucks games etc that we could have not paid for ourselves.
They offered a great birthday party, piano bar, lots of fun hints all over the area:)

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