Mission: To help local children with disabilities reach their full potential by providing services every time they need assistance.
Target demographics: Children under the age of 21 who have physical or intellectual disabilities in the St. Louis metro area with a household income under $65,000 (or otherwise exhibits extenuating circumstances such as multiple children or exorbitant medical bills).
Direct beneficiaries per year: Each year, Variety serves more than 7,925 children with physical and/or mental disabilities throughout the St. Louis area.
Geographic areas served: Metro St. Louis, Missouri (spanning 547 zip codes across 30 counties)
Programs: Kids on the Go Mobility Program
Variety assists St. Louis-area children by providing them with durable medical equipment – including wheelchairs, augmentative speech devices, leg braces, hearing aids, prostheses, and van lifts – that empowers them to be physically independent.
• Adventure Camp: Three weeks of fun, challenging activities in the areas of sports, fitness, sensory art and music.
• Bikes for Kids: Providing custom therapeutic bikes, as well as traditional bikes, to Variety children.
• St. Louis through the Eyes of a Child with a Disability: A field trip for Variety children and their families to experience some of the city’s most treasured attractions together.
• Variety Children’s Chorus: Comprised of talented children who receive equipment and/or funding from Variety, as well as children without disabilities.
• Variety Children’s Theatre: Bringing together children of all abilities with professional adults in one of the city’s top performance venues to create an unforgettable experience for theater-goers, cast and crew alike.
To further serve children with physical and/or mental disabilities, Variety partners with 60+ specialized agencies throughout the metro area to provide therapy/medical services, education, and counseling.
Emerson Resource Center
Provides valuable information and community connections to resolve the legal, social, therapeutic, education, medical and counseling issues often encountered by families of children with disabilities.
I work at Sherwood Forest, a nonprofit, year-round youth development organization based in St. Louis. We have received several Sunshine Coaches (large 12-passenger vans) from Variety over the last 15 years. Our programs are anchored in a month-long residential summer camp experience, and we use these vehicles to transport our kids to and from our camp site in Lesterville, Missouri. Many of the kids we serve do not have access to reliable transportation, and Sunshine Coach Vans ensure that everyone is able to fully participate in our programs. We are so grateful to be able to partner with Variety The Children's Charity Of St. Louis to improve the lives of children in our community!
Professional with expertise in this field,07/24/2015
I am proud to be the Music Director for both the Variety Club Children's Theater and the Variety Club Children's Chorus. I have been involved with Variety as a professional musician for almost 20 years. What an organization. What dedicated, loving, supportive and caring workers and volunteers! These young people and their parents are all my heroes. I have seen Variety help families in need, provide support, programs, smiles, confidence, and "I can do it-ness," All of the money raised for Variety of St. Louis stays here in St. Louis.
Thank you for not just providing for special needs youth and their families, but also allowing ME the chance to see angels at work.
Professional with expertise in this field,10/29/2013
I've been an actor in two of Variety's productions. It is one of the most rewarding experiences I could ask for. It is wonderful to see children of all abilities get to participate and grow as individuals and to work together towards a goal. It's a fun experience for all and kids who participate are being taught valuable life lessons that they're not even aware of. Children who are not disabled are taught compassion and perhaps working with the Variety kids might make them want to pursue a career in special education or the medical or social work. The Variety kids get to be kids; treated like anyone else with the same expectations to do their very best. It is an excellent rehearsal environment. The Variety staff and the artistic staff work very hard to make sure that everyone is treated with respect and kindness while maintaining the necessary focus to mount their amazing productions. The staff also has high expectation of everyone in rehearsal and the kids always rise to the occasion and meet the challenge. Variety has been a valuable organization in the St. Louis community for decades and I know with the dedication of the staff and help from the community will continue to be a wonderful asset.
Professional with expertise in this field,08/18/2011
I had the pleasure of working with the staff and participants of two summer camps that Variety - STL had at our facility this year. They are passionate, kind, friendly and a joy to work with. This organization has touched so many lives in such a positive manner.