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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Variety Children's Charity of Greater Kansas City

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Digestive Diseases & Disorders, Health, Pediatrics

Mission: Variety Children's Charity of Greater Kansas City provides children with developmental disabilities adaptive equipment and opportunities for activity and inclusion.

Target demographics: disabilities- kids

Direct beneficiaries per year: 100,000 kids

Geographic areas served: Greater Kansas City Area

Programs: Kids on the GO! Variety Future Kids Variety Freedom Variety Children's Theatre Catie Cares

Community Stories

96 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

Variety has been an awesome organization for myself and children. I have 3 children that have benefited from them . My youngest has some speech problems and they blessed him with an iPad. Thank you.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Rare. Our daughter, Ellianna, is one of 300 in the world. As an infant her symptoms were so unique it took years to figure out what was going on. During those years of searching for answers, it was as though we were stranded on an island; to say we felt alone would be an understatement. Then Ellianna’s physical therapist introduced us to Variety KC. It was an instant community of individuals advocating for inclusion, for unity, for kindness.

Variety KC has been a huge blessing to our family, and Deb is one in a million. She has the biggest heart, and her passion to help kids of all abilities is unmatched. She cares so deeply about each and every child and family she meets. Her determination to help children with special needs helps make this world a better place. Variety has gifted Ellianna with an adaptive trike allowing her to ride through the neighborhood just like her big brother. She has received a professional photo shoot with a couture gown from a photographer that was patient and saw the best in our children. They have granted her an opportunity to attend a Rotals’ Fantasy Camp where she will get to play ball with our favorite boys in blue. And they have provided a family of support that motivates us to keep hoping, keep dreaming for our children, and for our world, to help them be the best they can be.

Thank you Variety!

Kim_208

Client Served

Rating: 5

Variety has changed the way Kansas City sees the disabled community. We now have baseball field and water parks that allow ANYONE to play, better access at the zoo, changing tables that accommodate older children, theater camps that include everyone no matter what their abilities, safe access to the beach in Olathe.... I could go on and on! Thank you Variety for all you have done and all you continue to do.

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son has special needs and most of the time isn't able to participate in events that other children can. Variety has organized so many great events that are inclusive and allow my son to do amazing things we wouldn't have otherwise had the chance to do. One highlight was running bases with Lorenzo Cain. A day Charlie won't forget anytime soon.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son was 4 and had just gotten his autism diagnosis. He still wasn’t talking and I couldn’t afford speech therapy and the insurance company’s were taking almost a year to process a claim for an AAC device. So I applied for Variety KC to help get his device. I had just gotten a decline claim notice from the insurance saying that he didn’t need a device and that I could fight that with a 90 page form sent within 30 days, they didn’t send me the form until it had been almost 45 days. I was heartbroken that I had finally gotten his diagnosis after 6 months waiting, to come to find out that I couldn’t afford to do anything to help him and insurance was just drowning me in paperwork. I had no help, no resources and I doubted I’d hear back from any of the local charities that I reached out to.
Then Deb from Variety called me, she said he was approved for funding for his AAC device. I was in tears. She was amazing and so excited to help my son, she got him the iPad and a gift card that covered the full cost of the touchchat app which is $400. Within two months of using it he began mimicking the device, he was able to tell me that he was hungry, tired, and was SPEAKING! Flash forward he’s going to be 7 now and he’s making full sentences, reading with 100% fluency, inflections, & accuracy at a 4th grade level even though he’s going into 2nd grade. He is talking and socializing with peers! He can talk to his sister!
Variety KC gave my son a voice when the insurance companies said he didn’t NEED one. They were genuine in their compassion and eager to help my son be heard. I’ll never forget Deb & Variety. We wear our t shirts and tell people to donate to Variety KC because they gave my son a voice when he couldn’t find his own!

Marbella R.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Variety kc is an amazing organization!!
My son Alejandro has a rare syndrome. Which affects his motor skills , among other things.
He was granted a bike which he loves.. He loves outdoors and enjoys everyday his walks around the neighborhood..

Mike D.7

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Variety Children's Charity of Greater Kansas City has done great work throughout our city! Recently my daughter participated in a theater camp (Spinning Tree Theatre) that included teens with special needs. Variety paid for the full week! My daughter had the time of her life! And is already talking about next summer's camp!

The love, support and enthusiasm Executive Director,Deborah Wiebrecht, puts into this cause is amazing! The constant efforts of Variety to support kids with special needs is a blessing to Kansas City!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Variety KC is an amazing organization!! My 5 year old son has a physical disability that makes riding a bike difficult for him. We were incredibly blessed to be gifted an adaptive trike for him through Variety KC! We never could have afforded this trike on our own. It warms my heart to see my son ride around with his sisters like a ‘big kid’. Deb is one of the most amazing people I have ever met. Her passion for inclusion is second to none. We are SO grateful for Variety KC!!

2 Bethani L.

Client Served

Rating: 5

VarietyKC helped my son Jayce, have a voice. He is 3 years old, non verbal and is autistic. Since receiving the communication device, he has been able to request food and items that he wants. He loves oceans animals and will often request them using his device! It has been amazing being able to ask him what he wants and he can start telling us! Variety is an amazing group!
Here is a link of him using it the first day we brought it home!
https://www.instagram.com/p/ByF0utDhwlMlH8n8E9J_uNkCX_bkGzR8ZcFjmw0/?igshid=1rw2b5ws577sl

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Variety is an amazing organization! Deb has to be the most thoughtful and caring person I’ve ever met. The inclusion of all people that has happened because of Variety Kc is amazing. Thank you for all you do for a huge spectrum of people and their differences!

Ayla W.

Client Served

Rating: 5

You guys are hero’s! Opening doors for our kids and providing them with more ability to just be kids! We love you!!!!

Angie O.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son is 17 and has Cerebral Palsy. Several years ago we met Variety while trying to help with fundraising for an inclusive playground in Independence. That dream turned into a playground and ball field. He was then using a walker and now uses crutches. For the time ever ever my kiddo was able to play along side his brothers and friends. Then we were gifted a bicycle from Variety. We have attended Royals camps as well. We love their mission on helping all kids Be active, Be social and Belong!

Brittany M.4

Client Served

Rating: 5

Incredible organization with unsurmountable passion! Loving seeing all the amazing things being accomplished by VarietyKC!!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Variety has been such an asset to our family I do many ways. When my daughter who is now 11 was 4, Variety helped us get some specialized leg braces to help her learn to walk. She was born with Spina Bifida and struggles with many things. Since then we have been part of the aridity family. They host fantastic social events for the kids. More importantly they help family fund mobility and communication needs. They also have build amazing accessible spaces around KC that she can access in her wheelchair. Variety has been a blessing to our family and community.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Variety KC gifted my son a Segway to help give his legs a rest while keeping up with his peers and helping him make longer distances at an easier pace. They make sure all kids feel included.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Variety was able to help give my son a voice. My son does not speak and was diagnosed with autism and he has a hard time with day to day life but because of variety my son was given an iPad that has an app on it that helps my son communicate. We’ve had the device for 1month and we already see such a huge difference. The people that made all this happen me and my family can’t thank you enough.

Katie Smeltzer I.

Volunteer

Rating: 5



This is my love letter to Variety Children's Charity of Kansas City but this is also for all of you at home reading. To those who have given to the Variety Family and to those who may be considering giving to OUR Variety family. So here it is:

Dear Variety,
I am just an average mom. I run errands, take my kids to preschool, clean up their messes and love them with all of my heart. But my family is not typical and really we aren't all that average, but families like us are more common than what the world thinks. I know you know better Variety. I know that you know that 1 in 4 families are affected by a family member with a special need. We are that 1 in 4. In 2012, my husband and I gave birth to the most beautiful child. You weren't apart of this stage in our life not yet. When our daughter Charlotte or Lottie for short was 4 months old our world changed. Something was different about Lottie. She was labeled with words like "globally developmentally delayed" and "low muscle tone" We didn't know what to do and we felt so alone! And scared and at times hopeless about her future Doctor after doctor had guesses about what her diagnosis would be, but they all turned out wrong so we stood on our own with a child with clear special needs and no diagnosis. This feeling was lonely and the our view of the future was grim.

But this is when you came in Variety, like a knight on a white horse or a super energetic blond named Deb and a giant Red heart.

To my outside readers: I won't go into details about how we became a part of the Variety family except to say... if you are where I was... reach out to Variety. I can guarantee life will feel different after. Life will get easier.

Variety, you have given us a reason to dream big for our daughter. You stood beside us and told us that it doesn't matter what her diagnosis or prognosis is, she is meant to be a vital part of our community.

You said to us... she WILL be active and you helped us secure a go baby go specialized motorized ride on toy car for our girl and then you provided a kid walk, an expensive piece of equipment, our family could not afford on our own and that insurance had denied . This piece of equipment is helping our 5 year take her first steps.

You said to us ... Lottie WILL be social and you built multiple inclusive playgrounds all over Kansas City where she can play side by side with average children. You invited us to events with other families in our situation and you opened up the door to some of my greatest friendships. You got the zoo and the ice rink to think about our kids and now the airport too!!

And most importantly you said to us and to our community here in Kansas City, that it does not matter what your "limitations" are you are just as valuable as every other child. You said to us ... you said to Lottie... you said to that 1 in 4 family... YOU BELONG. You will always belong!

We love and thank you from the bottom of our hearts and we are proud to be from Kansas City, and we are Proud to be a Vairety Family.

This city is doing big things for inclusion and I am so excited to be a part of it and I hope you will want to be a part as well by donating today!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Variety Kc gave my son independence.
He is 12 years old and has cerebral palsy, he also has two brothers he wanted to ride bikes with really bad. Variety Kc gave him an adaptive bike and now they can barely keep up with him. They also have fun activities like adaptive ice skating. It's so wonderful as a patent to see my son be able to just be a kid and play without worrying about a way to make it happen for him. Thank you variety kc for everything you do for our kids!

Malanie Miller L.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We had just moved to KC and our son Donovan was having a hard time adapting to his new school. As a child on the Autism Spectrum he really had a hard time adapting to change and his school was using technology that we didn't have at home and at the time couldn't afford. I was put in touch with Deb at Variety and they were so helpful and provided my son with an iPad. This allowed him to continue progress he was making at school, at home and the progress has been amazing.

Patsy Brunk R.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Variety is an amazing organization helping kids be active and included. My son was the recipient of an adaptive bike and watching the joy on his face as he rides it is priceless. Variety KC puts smiles on kids faces, at any Variety event you will see beaming children and parents moved by how this organization has brightened their lives.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Variety KC has so many fun events! My son happens to LOVE baseball and they put together a little camp for kids with special needs and the Royals. He gets so excited until he gets out there with all the ball players and then he is shy and shuts down. The volunteers are so good with him!

At this same camp I saw a machine that Variety KC constructed that helped kids who can't walk or can't walk well on their own being used and it warmed my heart! It left such a lasting impression. Those kids were so happy and so free! It was truly amazing!