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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Developmentally Disabled Centers, Disabilities, Education, Human Services, Philanthropy, Philanthropy, Charity & Voluntarism Promotion

Mission: Providing life-enriching assistance to Wisconsin children challenged by physical disabilities.

Target demographics: Variety serves Wisconsin children who are challenged by physical disabilities, 21 years of age and younger and whose needs are not met by other sources, including family, school, insurance and service program resources.

Direct beneficiaries per year: In 2016, Variety provided funding for 53 requests of life-changing equipment, therapy, adaptive bicycles, and other items with a retail value of $68,000 through our Freedom Program. We hosted 66 events through the Future Program with more than 2,500 participants. We hosted 20 families for Chatter Matters! Communication Camp.

Geographic areas served: Wisconsin

Programs:

The Variety Freedom Program encompasses mobility, communications and experiences. The Freedom Program exists to help children with physical challenges obtain confidence, freedom and independence by funding durable medical equipment, such as wheelchairs, walkers, van lifts, house ramps, adaptive car seats and strollers, specially-equipped bicycles and tricycles, bath equipment and stair lifts, for those with the greatest financial need.

The Variety Future Kids Program provides memorable educational and play experiences that would likely be inaccessible to children with physical challenges due to mobility or financial restrictions. The program takes children and their immediate family members on fun, free outings.

Chatter Matters! Communication Camp is a residential camp for children who use speech generating devices and their entire family to become better communicators in a fun, traditional camp setting.

Community Stories

72 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer at camp, it was awesome to see kids interact with their families outside the typical clinical setting. Some of these kids had never experienced camp before, so allowing them to participate in traditional camp activities was so rewarding.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered at Variety's Chatter Matters! Camp this summer. It was a rewarding experience that I will never forget! I will definitely be volunteering again next year. Children who are nonverbal and their families had the opportunity to participate in engaging activities such as water sports, games, crafts, and cooking activities with the support of SLPs, and SLP/OT/PT students. The emphasis was on using AAC devices in everyday activities- I can't tell you how awesome it was to see children use these devices to communicate outside of the speech therapy room or classroom during activities where they could just enjoy being a kid at summer camp! Thank you for the wonderful weekend, Variety!

Client Served

Rating: 5

My family attended Variety 2016 Chatter Matters! Communication Camp! Communicating with non-verbal children is very challenging; the camp showed us that it is well worth the hard work. Stephen Hawkings is only one individual who uses technology to give himself a voice. If we can all learn to use technology to its fullness, how much better will the world be for all of us? Technology is advancing we need to make sure the people who need it most have access to it. Everyone at camp was encouraged to do so.
People are social creatures. Both non-verbal children and their parents are isolated. Being among others with similar challenges broke the isolation. Everyone was able to find others that they could relate to and share with.
The camp was a fun, non-judgmental place were my entire family could have fun while learning. Being among so many non-verbal children allowed us to experience the world differently. Some of the activities were geared to have us adults see the world through our children's' eyes and it was frustrating. My children were able to see the world as one of the "normal" children and have fun.

Gena F.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Chatter Matters camp was an amazing experience for our family this past weekend! The campground was perfect and from all of the fun activities to the parent sessions.. we couldn't have asked for more! Thank you for letting us come to camp and we hope we can come back next year!

Mary434

Client Served

Rating: 5

This camp was a tremendous treat to my whole family. Thank you for this opportunity to be able to focus on fun and communicating with my son's device throughout the whole weekend. FUN! FUN! FUN! camp activities and parent enrichment sessions were appreciated by the whole family. Thank you for what you do and we are looking forward to more opportunities with Variety!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Variety has been a blessing to our family. They have given us the opportunity to get out into our community with other families like us. we have participated in Varietys free movies and Christmas parties. Variety has also coordinated and help purchase an adaptive trike for our daughter. With out their help a trike would not have been obtainable. We recently attended their "Chatter Matters" communication camp, it was an amazing experience for the entire family. Our daughter got the opportunity to use her AAC device besides the normal school and home atmosphere. She initiated conversions, made choices, answered questions and participated independently in a talent show. All this at just 7 years old! With out Variety our family would not have a chance to have "normal" activities and experiences just like their peers!

Client Served

Rating: 5

We came into the camp not sure what to expect, just willing to try something new. When we arrived at the camp we were blown away!! The facility was beautiful... everyone was so nice. The entire staff was personable and professional... Our son was immediately comfortable.
This camp has changed our family's life and we plan to participate in as many events as we possibly can in the future and spread the word on how wonderful an experience it was for us .

Nikkie

Client Served

Rating: 5

Thank you so much Variety for having the Chatter Matter camp!

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Thank you Variety for all that you do to help special needs children and their families! My daughter Adalyn was the lucky recipient of a new adaptive bike from Variety! We actually are going tomorrow afternoon to pick it up, Can't wait!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Chatter Matters is a great organization that has really impacted our family. We enjoy the many activities that are offered and the opportunity to learn more about our child's device. We are able to attend events that we normally could not afford. THANK YOU Chatter Matters and keep up the great work!!!!

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

2015 was my family's first year experiencing Variety! The staff is really nice and welcoming. My family enjoyed a few Buck's games and we also attended the Chatter Matters camp, which was great!!! We look forward to attending many more Variety events!!! The Baker Family:)

Client Served

Rating: 5

AMAZING STAFF ! They work with their hearts and their minds intertwined to help children with limiting abilities become more independent in communication, in the community and physically.Our family is super grateful for all the FUTURE KIDS events that get us out into the community and our child socializing, communicating and involved . Thank you variety for being a bright spot of accessibility and HOPE !