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October 27, 2010

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October 27, 2010

My involvement with Variety - The Children's Charity of Wisconsin and the children and families they serve has been a fulfilling experience. I run a retail bicycle and fitness store. Over the years we have made a number of modifications to bicycles of many shapes and sizes to allow people with varied challenges use them. Most are bought by the families who can afford them. Some are funded by friends, or the state or organizations. A lot of families cannot afford them. Well, this past spring Gerise LaSpisa, Executive Director of Variety, paid us a visit. We have not been the same since. Variety's mission has inspired us to want to be more involved not just with the fine folks in their organization but more importantly with the children they serve. While the special adaptive bikes are right up our alley as my staff and me are all bike nuts, it is the opportunity to create freedom for the children to explore the world with their bike that has us so excited. Some of the kids now have their own way to get around. Some are able to exercise outside with their friends as equals for the first time. Some are able to free up their family to get outside at all. And some kids are simply excited because they are on a bike and not a wheelchair. Variety makes this all possible for families who otherwise cannot afford to do this. The bikes are only a part of what Variety does. The care and accuracy with which they find individual solutions to assist challenged kids and their families is inspiring. The chance to work with Gerise and her staff and the kids and families they serve gives our staff the chance to be more involved in our community and for that we are grateful.

The Great!

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

The impact that Variety has had on these children and their families lives is immediate to see. Mobility, freedom and a healthy outlet, all while putting huge smiles on the kids faces. Variety does their homework with the children and families, as well as communicating with the therapists who may have worked directly with the kids to be sure they know what the kids can and cannot do. By the time they involve us, there is solid information to move forward. A pleasure to work with.

Ways to make it better...

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

None

More feedback...

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

What is unique about this organization?

Quick to respond, accurate and caring.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

October 27, 2010

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October 27, 2010

My son had been using a bike during his physical therapy to help strengthen his legs after he had had a hip reconstruction surgery. Unfortunately, we had no way of following through at home. Then we heard about Variety Clubs Bike Day which helped kids with special needs get special bikes. We were so excited when John was chosen to receive a bike, and not just any bike but a bike that was custom fit and custom built just for him. He was so excited when he tried out his bike for the first time. His smile was precious! John had tried bikes before that we got through an equipment loan program but they had never quite fit his needs. Now John has an awesome bike that works for him and us too (it has rear stearing for us)!

The Great!

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

The joy on my son's face when we put him on his new bike. We also went to Variety's Bike Day event. We met other recipients, donors and providers. It was also a wonderful oportunity for my other children to experience the special bikes and meet other families. I also know they sponsor other programs in which they always include the whole family.

Ways to make it better...

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

I can't think of any changes except the ability to help more kids and families.

October 27, 2010

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October 27, 2010

Variety rocks and rolls - literally. They provided an adaptive bicycle for a student with cerebral palsy that I service in the public schools. His family was looking for a bicycle but an adaptive bicycle was out of their finacial reach. We turned to variety and together filled out the application for an adaptive bicycle. The application was detailed but easy to complete the needed information and letters. Within two months of submitting the application he was pedeling around the neighborhood with his siblings and Mom! The bicycle works for him now and into the future. It is a quality peice of equipment with room to grow! Variety had an event party to deliver the bike to make the family and my student feel super special. The family also has an additional resource and support through other activities and services provided by Variety. Thanks Variety!!!!

The Great!

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

services provided to students with special needs. Variety has invited many families of students with special needs to events throughout the greater Milwaukee area. They provided inservices to the Occupational and Physical Therapist in the Milwaukee Public Schools about the organizations and ways they can help service families and students within the district and area. They provided a student that I personally service with an adaptive bicycle!

Ways to make it better...

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

I do not have enough information to address this question.

October 27, 2010

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October 27, 2010

Variety is committed to providing services to children with disabilities and their families. When interested stakeholders in the community hear about the work of Variety, they want to become involved; thus, Variety is a strong and growing organization. As a physical therapist, I am grateful for the funding support that Variety is able to provide to children who otherwise would not have access to equipment and experiences that promote independence. As a Board member, I am proud of the efforts of the staff of Variety to promote the ogranization's mission to community providers that have now become Variety's partners. Having partnership relationships expands the possibilities available to children and families, and promotes more community awareness of the needs of others.

The Great!

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

Recently, Variety funded adapted bicycles to children with physical disabilities; I attended the event where the kids received their bikes, and it was truly an exciting, rewarding day. Some children learned new motor skills while others learned new speeds of travel on a bike - all of them gained independence and a "typical child" experience - something we want to see happen for all kids.

Ways to make it better...

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

none that I can think of - Variety is moving forward with a clearly defined mission and attainable goals

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Likely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

How did you learn about this organization?

Visit to my workplace from the executive director

What is this organization's top short-term priority?

Provide funding for the Kids On the Go program (equipment for children with disabilities)

What is its top priority in the long run?

Expand fund raising efforts and grow the organization's revenue

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

October 27, 2010

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October 27, 2010

Our company has had the fortunate opportunity to help out Variety over this past year on a few projects. The dedication and passion that Gerise, Molly and Nicole all have for this organization can be seen quickly as we discuss some of the issues and projects. The commitment to doing their best and helping the families and children with their special needs is incredible. The work that Variety does for the children is unbelievable! It was so great and heartwarming to see the smile on the young boy’s face that we were able to help out earlier this year as well as the deep gratitude that the parents had for the help they received to make their sons life just a little easier. It has been a pleasure to be a part of this organization and we look forward to continuing to help wherever possible. Keep up the great work!

The Great!

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

Helping better the lives of children.

Ways to make it better...

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

N/A

October 27, 2010

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October 27, 2010

My son is Joseph Goetter. He turned 6 on 7/29/10. My son was adopted from Russia at 8.5 months, and has been diagnosed with bone dysplasia and autism. He cannot go out and play sports like most kids; due to his attention and other constraints. He is the happiest child you could ever meet, but not when it came to riding bikes. We tried at least 10 difffernt bicycles, and he was just never able to reach the pedals and handle bars. This was very frustrating to him, and he would become angry whenever we tried a new bike. It was always the same old story. Yes, it could work if mom or dad or big brother pushed him, but he did not have the ability to reach and control the pedals and handlebars for appropriate performance. Then came Variety Club and their Bike Day!!! I can honestly say that his best Birthday present was the bike he received from Variety Club. We have neighbors come up to us everyday in amazement. They never expected to see Joey have so much control, and be able to ride around the block with us chasing him. Variety Club has put the most beautiful smile on my Baby's face. He is proud to ride HIS BIKE. I cannot say enough about the help we were given to adjust his brakes, put additional brakes on, and to size up the pedals and handlebars for Joey's custom bike. Thank You Variety Club, Joey's parents and brother, Ryan

The Great!

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

Bike Day

Ways to make it better...

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

not

October 25, 2010

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October 25, 2010

My brother, Mark Wood and his wife Jen have a son, Trevor who took a serious fall and had a very serious brain trauma injury. Trevor spent months in the hospital and we do thank the Lord that he survived. When we saw the time approaching that Trevor could go home there was another huge problem. There was not way that their home was compatible for a wheel chair and could meet the need of Trevor. It was overwhelming and we saw no way that things could work out. That is when Variety Club Children s Charities inc. contacted my brother and his wife. They came in and renovated part of the house, built a long ramp from the alley, which made it possible for Trevor to go home. Since then they have also did many things to help my brother's family and to help Trevor. As a family member we have been very thankful for the generosity and care for our family members. We would like to say Thank You and want you to know that we really appreciated all you have done. Randy and Linda Wood

The Great!

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

Their care and help of a family in need. They have been a huge help in many areas over the past 18 months.

Ways to make it better...

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

No change.

October 21, 2010

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October 21, 2010

My name is Mark Wood, I have a son Trevor who sustained a traumatic brain injury from a 25' fall off a stairway banister while at school on June 9, 2009. Trevor was rushed to the emergency room at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin. Trevor was in critical condition when he arrived and they told us that we would have to see how the next 12 hours went. Trevor survived this fall and is continuing his recovery at this time. When Trevor was to be released from the hospital we were told that in order for us to bring him home, our home had to be accessible to him. We were devastated with the task of modifying our home just to have our son home where he belonged. We called different building contractors to get estimates for the modifications. We were told that they would cost around $50,000.00 . We were also told maybe we should just sell our home and find something more accessible for Trevor. We were devastated. A social worker at Children's Hospital came to visit us one day and suggested we call Variety the Children's Charity of Wisconsin. My wife Jennifer called them and asked if they knew of anyone that could help us with the expense of getting a wheelchair van or the remodel of our home so we could get our son home. Gerise from Variety told us that she would make a few phone calls and see what she could do. That was in the evening time, the very next morning Gerise called Jennifer and asked her if she was sitting down. She then proceeded to tell us that she had reached out to some of the friends of Variety Charities for help and immediately was called by Tom the owner of Tri North Builders. Tri North Builders said they would like to come to our house and remodel our house to make it wheelchair accessible so Trevor could come home! Within 3 days our house was being remodeled, we were really wanting to get Trevor home as soon as possible and hopefully by Thanksgiving but that was less then a month away. Needless to say they finished our home and Trevor came home to be with his family for Thanksgiving. Variety Charities was involved every step of the way, bringing over food, offering anything we needed to help out. We gained a personal relationship with all of Tri North Builders and Gerise and the rest of the staff of Variety Charities. Since then Variety continues to be a important part in our lives, We are invited to numerous events and programs that allow Trevor to do thing he may never be able to do without their help. They are the most wonderful, caring and loving people! We are proud to be a part of the Variety family! I am continually amazed as I see all the help they continue to give out to so many families in need . Thank you so much!! Mark Wood

The Great!

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

They brought my son home and made our family whole again.

Ways to make it better...

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

Help them have more money tohelp other families

More feedback...

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

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

How did you find this group?

Social worker at Childrens Hospitol of Wisconsin

What, if any, change in your life has this group encouraged?

They continue to offer activities we can do as a family that is wheelchair friendy.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

June 30, 2010

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June 30, 2010

I am Nolan's mom. Nolan has a rare disorder that affects both of his legs. A new device came out called "The Walkaide". Nolan was able to try this on both legs. This is a very costly piece of equipment and after appeals to the insurance company and letters to many charities, We all about given up. One of the social workers at Children's Hospital told us about Variety Children's Charity of Wisconsin. They have gone above and beyond belief...Nolan was gifted 2 Walkaides and we recently applied for a grant for him to receive a handcyle. Once again Variety came through!!! They are a part of our family and have helped many others!!! This is an amazing charity that helps families who have no other place to turn!

The Great!

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

This organization helped my son therefore directly positively impacting our family.

More feedback...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

June 29, 2010

more

June 29, 2010

The people are nice and this charity changed my life. They really helped me a lot and the experience with them has been great.

The Great!

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

Variety changed my life by getting me walkaides. I have a genetic leg disease and the walkaides have made me stronger.

More feedback...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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  1. Sending an email to clients, volunteers, donors, board members, and other partners with a link to your profile page.
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3 hours of volunteer time for this nonprofit will...

make a difference in the lives of children with physical disabilities and give the volunteer a sense of pride, satisfaction and accomplishment. The intangible benefits of volunteering are endless. Volunteer