Variety The Children's Charity Of St. Louis
Rating: 5 stars 31 reviews
Issues: Children & Youth, Health, Philanthropy
Location: 2200 Westport Plaza Drive St. Louis MO 63146 USA
Target demographics: Children under the age of 21 who have physical or mental 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 14,500 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 more than 1,350 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. In-House Programs Throughout the year, Variety conducts a number of inclusive programs that allow local children with physical and mental disabilities the same opportunities as their able-bodied friends. Highlights include: • 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. Partner Agencies To further serve children with physical and/or mental disabilities, Variety partners with 80+ specialized agencies throughout the metro area to provide therapy/medical services, education, and counseling. One dynamic element of these partnerships is Variety’s Sunshine Coach Van program, in which Variety provides passenger vans to its partners to transport children across the St. Louis area to doctor appointments, therapy sessions and special outings or activities. Emerson Resource Center Overseen by Variety’s Program Director, the 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.
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When my nephew Daunte was born, we made a decision as a family that we would do everything we could to prevent him from being limited by Spina bifida. We knew he was going to have a long, hard road ahead of him, but we were committed to allowing Daunte to thrive just like all of his siblings. We had no idea how expensive therapies and equipment to allow him the most basic functions, such as mobility, would be. Variety Club has stepped up every time Daunte has needed equipment as he has grown. Daunte rides his bike to the park with his brothers and cousins, speeds through the house in his little quickie, and even goes shopping and runs errands with me in his full sized chair. By being able to get around with other kids, Daunte has the confidence to go anywhere and play with any child. That confidence and independence is something that was given to him by not just his family, but in large part due to Variety Club. We cannot thank this charity enough for allowing my nephew to be the outgoing, confident little man he now is.
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
watching my nephew learn to use his wheel chair and helping to teach him how to ride a bike donated by Variety Club.
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
give them unlimited funding so they could do as much good as possible for as many families as possible.