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2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Variety Club of Northern California

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Children & Youth, Homeless & Housing, Human Services, Humanities

Mission: To help disadvantaged children in the san francisco bay area.

Target demographics: We serve disabled and impoverished children through age 12 throughout all of Northern California.

Direct beneficiaries per year: Variety places highly-specialized medical equipment, funds medical procedures and, sadly, burial services to an average of 30 very deserving children each year.

Geographic areas served: Northern California

Programs: - Children's Compassion Fund - Kids On The Go Mobility Program - Samantha Marie Fund - Variety At Work

Community Stories

19 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a volunteer and then board member at Variety, I have worked with so many dedicated people who's only interest is helping children and needy families when insurance and government programs cannot help. It is quite rewarding when we see the smiling faces of children at the holiday parties and when needy kids get a special, custom made adaptive bike!

Jan S.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Through the generosity of Variety and its Contributors, my son received a bike which otherwise would have been cost prohibitive since it has to be custom made. It was engineered by Freedom Concepts to accommodate his specific physical (and mental) disabilities. It is awesome! Now he can join other kids. It gives him a sense of independence, mobility, the ability to participate and FUN! He now has "wheels" and improved self esteem. Thank you Variety.

Karyn C.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My nephew, Cameron, has CP and several other medical conditions that make mobility and regular exercise difficult. The Variety Club gave Cameron the ability to join his family in regular exercise activities by giving him a bike that he is specially designed for his physical challenges. Now Cameron has the freedom to join his able bodied brother and mother in riding around their neighborhood. None of this would have been possible without the Variety Club. Mark Twain once said that "Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see." Thanks for bringing the universal language of kindness to my beautiful nephew Cameron!

Matthew Y.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Since joining the Variety Board last summer, it has been a truly rewarding experience on many levels. I have met so many amazing individuals, and at the end of the day, we all share the common goal of positively impacting the lives of children in our community. Through the various sponsorship & mobility programs in place, we are able to see that goal come to fruition in a very tangible way. Variety is able to make a difference because of our engaging events (children's holiday parties, movie screenings, Gatsby Ball, toy drives, charity partnerships) and we have a great time while doing it!

Board Member

Rating: 5

Working to make a child's life better has to be one of the most rewarding things a person can do. I've been on Variety's board for almost a year now. What I love about Variety is it serves a very underserved group that often gets forgotten - the families that can't afford these things yet don't qualify for government aid.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Variety Club of Northern California is a unique and invaluable organization that serves diverse populations of children throughout our region.

What impresses me the most is Variety's ability to reach children and their families who otherwise aren't being served by other organizations ... kids with life-threatening medical conditions or physical disabilities ... or those whose families have been particularly hard hit by today's economy. It can be something as simple as helping kids access positive outlets for recreation and creative expression ... or giving a bike to a child whose family can't afford one. There is nothing like the smile of a child who has just gotten his or her first new bike.

The strength of the organization lies in its very committed and active board of directors and volunteer force. They absolutely make the most of every dollar that's donated to them.

John G.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My involvement with Variety club was about two years ago when I attended a few film screenings in the Preview Room. I really enjoyed donating my money during those fundraising events. The idea that my money was going directly towards the purchase of a bicycle or a wheelchair for a child was terrific.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been a board member with Variety for over 7 years. It has been a wonderful experience. To be able to make a difference in a child's life is the best feeling in the world.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Variety has a huge impact on the lives of many children in the San Francisco Bay Area, and I had a great experience volunteering with them. Volunteering at their annual Christmas toy drive, I helped collect 300+ toys and distributed them to as many as 6 or 7 local charities to give to children. By being the hub of a large network of charities, Variety is able to leverage resources and networks to help children.

mpthree72

Donor

Rating: 5

When you really want every dollar to matter. Variety is the kind of organization that can make every dollar work harder. Low overhead, operated by long standing boardmemebers. This agency is alway at the top of my list when it comes to donations. I even included them in my living trust! Few agencies help the disadvantaged children in Northren California the way Variety does. After attending just one volunteer event you will feel what I felt in 2003.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Variety gave me the chance to volunteer my time and efforts to raise money for a great cause. I became involved first as a volunteer and then as a board member, working to organize events and coordinate fundraising efforts.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Variety plays a critical role in in the lives of children with special needs by providing opportunities and resources not normally available by partnering and engaging members and the community. The Northern California chapter has a long history of helping those in need and continues in its mission despite the economic climate, exhibiting their strength of character, resolve, leadership, and most importantly heart.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I became involved with Variety about five years ago when I attended film screenings in the Preview Room. Seeing the direct and palpable impact Variety has on children's lives lead me to seek a more involved role with the Charity. Nothing compares to seeing a child's face when he or she receives a new, much needed wheelchair or a first bicycle.

Rebecca B.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Working with children is one of the most fulfilling things you can do with your extra time. They call it volunteering your time but when you impact a child's life in a positive way it is amazing how it feels like you are on the receiving end. I decided to work more closely with Variety Children's Charity of Northern California by joining the board in 2009 after having attending several fund-raising events. The work they do for children and families of last resort is wonderful!

Board Member

Rating: 5

I've chosen to give my volunteer time to Variety for over 10 years; as a professional in the nonprofit field, I find that Variety has it all for me. A committment to their mission statement, a fiscal responsibility to their agencies and the community, and a fun, innovative approach to fundraising. With a history stretching back to 1927, Variety is one of the few legacy nonprofits I know of that is keeping current with the times and the community, and all the while ensuring that funds keep flowing to kids in the Greater Bay Area.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been volunteered with the Variety Children's Charity of Northern California for over 5 years, and it is an absolutely fantastic organization. I am proud to have volunteered my time with this group.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have been associated with Variety of Northern California for nearly two decades and always look forward to the annual events which
serve as fundraisers for the various groups of children which Variety supports. Over the years Variety has supported numerous children's charities and that is why I choose to be involved with Variety since I really enjoy focusing my donations and time to an organization whos main objective is to help children who are at risk. Not to mention all the great fun I have had over the years - whether it be at the Lake Tahoe Golf Tournaments or a Black Tie Gala held at a very special venue. Keep up the good work and you can count on my continued support.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I joined Variety because of the fun group of supporters, donors, volunteers and board members that work so hard to make a difference to improve the lives of impoverished and disabled children who need help the most.

Variety has a long history in San Francisco and Northern California and has enjoyed the support of this great community since 1947. The Blind Babies Foundation, which is now a leader in their field, was spun off out of Variety of Northern California and we continue to partner with dozens of organizations today.

Over the years I've been part of Variety, I have been fortunate to see an incredible group of community members, corporate sponsors and volunteer board members all come together to help countless children in need and I'm proud to be a part of this great organization.

Donor

Rating: 5

I was introduced to Variety 4 years ago when I volunteered at a bike build event for underprivileged children and I’m proud to say I’ve been a donor ever since! I have been fortunate enough to attend some of the fantastic events Variety has thrown over the years - The Great Gatsby Balls, movie screenings at the Preview Room and, of course, bike builds - and the gratifying looks on the children's faces when they are presented with a new bike, etc. - is worth every penny!

I hope Variety continues with their current mission - I know I will happily be a part of it!!