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2020 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

106 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

Variety is an amazing organization . There work is absolutely remarkable to say the least . It is good to know and see we have such a great , passionate , caring organization that I am very lucky to b a part of . Thank you for the car . I love when my son rides in it , his face lights up which makes me happy . Thank you for this gift ..

Client Served

Rating: 5

An amazing organization that made it easy to get the help we needed for our daughter with special needs. Caring, compassionate, and a great resource to the community!

Client Served

Rating: 5

They were great and everyone was very nice and helpful. Thanks for my son's car.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Variety has been a wonderful experience to be a part of. I have been a volunteer this past year and helped support several events in Kansas City. The generosity of spirit and focus on "never turning a family away" is such an exceptional mission. I am so grateful to Variety and how they have been able to help some of the friends that I have referred. The gift of technology and mobility has vastly improved the lives of my friend's children and provided a perspective that their lives may not have had without Variety.

1

Advisor

Rating: 5

I have been a "behind the scenes" consultant for Variety of Kansas City for the past 4 years. During this time, I have seen Deb, the Board and her many volunteers do some amazing things for the children in this area. Costs of events and fundraisers are low which makes for higher margins and more money available to directly fund equipment for children who just want to have normal kid experiences. It's been a pleasure serving Variety and working with Deborah Wiebrecht.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've volunteered for and been a part of several organization and Variety the Children's Charity of Kansas City has proven time and time again to be the most genuine, sincere and engaging non-profit ever. What resonates with me most is that I get to meet, talk to and interact with the kids and families that are receiving the funds that I am helping raise. And it all stays in my community.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Over the past two years I have had the pleasure of becoming involved with Variety Children's Charity of Greater Kansas City and it has been an incredibly rewarding experience. The passion they have to support children who need special equipment to be able to be included in everyday activities is endless. The equipment they provide to families is quite expensive and typically not covered by insurance, so the impact their gifts have can be life changing for these families.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Variety Children's Charity is a remarkable experience and I am so proud to be able to attend many events that in turn help support the special needs children in Kansas City. I highly recommend Variety has a VERY great non-profit organization.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This past year I have had the privilege of supporting Variety of Greater Kansas City as a volunteer and have been blown away by the heart of the mission, the organization of the volunteers and the ability to help our communities' families. I am proud to be associated with Variety and am honored to help our kids be active, be social and belong.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering for Variety Children's Charity of Greater Kansas City for about 3 months, and I love everything they stand for! The good this group does for children with communication, mobility, and inclusion barriers is incomparable to any other. By giving these children the help and devices they need to be a "regular" kid is life changing. The events are always well organized and the community participation is wonderful. Keep up the good work Variety KC!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love volunteering for Variety Children's Charity! They kids are wonderful and the money they make goes to kids who really need it! I get so much out of volunteering for such a great organization!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've volunteered for Variety for the past three years and the joy I get from volunteering is unlike any other. The kids are adorable and giving back to them a feelings you will never forget. Deborah Wiebrecht who is the executive director is the sweetest, most genuine person who puts herself before others. The money they raise goes to the best kids in Kansas City and all the money donated you can see it go to use!

1 Christina92

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer in any organization, you'd think that you'd be the one touching others lives, but with Variety, it's the children and their families that are touching my life and changing me for the better. Variety is such a special organization that is changing the lives of everyone who is blessed to be a part of it!

1 Lorri S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I want to share a unique perspective of how Variety of GKC works, and how a single person can make big changes in our community. I happened to be in the room when Deborah Wiebrecht (Variety's Exec Director) took a phone call. It was the mother of a child with special needs. She had seen a product that would make shopping easier for her, her child and family...a grocery cart with a built in seat for larger children or adults.
Deb got off the phone, quickly made another call to a major Variety sponsor (HyVee) - and HyVee aoon ordered these specialized carts for all their area stores.
What an amazing display of success!
1. Variety families obviously feel engaged enough to call for help and to give help
2. Variety staff listens - and acts quickly
3. Variety supporters and sponsors truly understands the needs and are eager to help
4. The results benefit the entire community. There is nothing territorial about Variety - they help one on one and they help families they will never meet.

1 Debbie149

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter has cerebral palsy. She has two younger siblings, and we are a very active and busy family. Twice now my daughter has been the recipient of mobility equipment (a standing frame and an adapted racing chair (for running and biking). She is able to participate in triathlons, road races, bike rides, walks, runs, and more right along with us as a family. Variety is awesome!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Variety of KC goes above and beyond expections!! My son has Down syndrome and it's nice to get together and meet other families going through the same things. It is a wonderful support system for the community!!

1 Meggin

Client Served

Rating: 5

I cannot express in words what Variety of Greater Kansas City has done for my son, Jackson. Jackson has Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) which is non-diagnosable according to the insurance coding book. This all translates into we receive no insurance coverage for any of his treatments or therapy equipment. SPD does not allow for great gross or fine motor coordination, hence, riding a normal 2 wheel bike is near impossible. Jackson was wanting a three wheel bike that looked "cool" so that he too could be "normal" and ride with the neighborhood kids. No charity has ever been willing to help us due to his lack of being able to be diagnosed and that the bike was not needed for therapy purposes. That all changed when I spoke to Deb with Variety. She explained that Variety is there to help with or without diagnosis and that being a typical kid was just as important as therapy equipment. A month later, Jackson was gifted his AWESOME, new three wheel bike from Variety. He now happily rides with all the neighborhood kids and has actually become the envy of them with his bike. Again, there are no works to express what a difference this has made in his life and what Variety means to us. Absolutely a blessing and God given gift!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A charity making a difference and spreading friendly smiles! I love it.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Jackson, age 12, was unable to ride bikes with his brother because he couldn't balance, steer, stop and pedal all at the same time. Variety provided him with a 4 wheel pedal bike and he is now off to the races. While he still has challenges in understanding the concept of braking, it has a bar on it that allows us to walk/run behind him and limit him on his speed and assist him in the stopping process. He now takes 1 1/2 mile bike rides, while one of us runs along side him. He has also informed us that next year, he is going to participate in a kids triathlon with his brother (which we will adapt accordingly). Without Variety, he would not be able to be as mobile and be as participatory in everyday simple things like riding a bike. Thanks Variety for all you do!

1 Katie76

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Variety Club Children's Charity has been a huge help to my daughter and our family. Due to my daughter's special needs, growing body, and short endurance for walking and standing for extended periods of time, her toddler stroller was no longer appropriate. The specialized stroller that we needed to help her access the community was very costly and unobtainable for us, but becoming increasingly necessary. The Variety Children's Charity helped us to get a specialized "big kid" stroller which has allowed my daughter to particpiate in all kinds of family and community activities, that would otherwise be very difficult. Thanks again to all of the staff, volunteers, and community members that participate in this organization that is dedicated to helping children of all abilities.

~Katie and Grace

Karen176

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son has special needs and they helped me get him the tricycle that he wanted. Now he can play with the neighbor kids!! I have been involved with Varitety alittle over 2 years . They are great!!! What a great organization to be involved with!!! They far-exceed my expetations!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Previous Stories
1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been involved with this organization for almost 2 years,what a wonderful organization it is. They really care for the kids!!!
My son has Celebral palsey and Variety got him a tricycle so he could keep up with the neighborhood kids playing. Just seeing how my son's face lights up when he was presented the tricycle and rides it ,I will always be thankful for Variety coming into my life!!!
They exceed my expectations every time I'm involved in an activity with them.
Great organization and wonderful staff members!!!

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been involved in Variety for almost three years and could not imagine a more impactful or meaningful volunteer experience. Growing up as an able-bodied and "normal" child, I had all the opportunities for activity and mobility. There are many children in our community who do not get to experience the joys of mobility and independence, and Variety does all it can to change that, one child at a time. Mobility is such an intangible thing...you can't feel it like hunger or quantify it in dollars to fix. Giving the freedom of of mobility for the child for the first time is a life changing experience and allows the to live a more active and healthy life, and in many cases, leads to a much higher quality of life. For me, the highest satisfaction I receive from my volunteer efforts are the smiles on a child's face the first time they ride their new adaptive bicycle or stand-up in a new wheelchair. Further, the letters from the parents saying how much happier their special needs child is now that they can ride their bicycle with neighborhood children...or parents no longer have the back-breaking task of lifting the wheelchair into the van for a trip...are truly heartwarming!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Impactful. Dynamic. Innovative. These three words come to mind when thinking about Variety Children's Charity of Greater Kansas City! What a great organization to be involved with! The energetic volunteers, amazing cause and great events (both fundraisers and ones that directly involve beneficiaries) all make for a phenomenal non-profit organization. I have had the opportunity to work with Variety the past 4 years as an intern and a volunteer and have truly seen the difference that they make in the lives of Kansas City kids! Not only do the kids benefit, but also those who are involved in any way! Great cause & great people to get involved with.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have a special needs daughter. (muscular dystrophy, epilepsy, brain tumors, osteoporosis, and spina bifida occulta) When I was in need of a lift for her motor scooter because I can't lift it and our van is not big enough, I looked online and found Variety! Our lives have been changed forever. Sometimes having special needs children you feel helpless, but after meeting Deb I have a whole new energy. Not only did they jump right on getting us the lift we needed for the van, Deb has shown us a love that no other has shown. Variety has provided us with many opportunities to be "normal" and go do "normal" things. Anytime I see a child or family struggling with a special needs child, I tell them all about Variety. There is no way I could ever repay Variety for the freedom they have given, except to share my story.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The passion and energy of this organization is absolutely amazing!! I leave every event, happy hour and planning session feeling inspired and like I am making a difference. The best part is being able to interact with the kids at different events and getting to know them and their families. I am extremely proud to be a member of this organization and help children living with daily challenges live their lives to their fullest potential.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a board member of Variety Children's Charity of Greater Kansas City for 8+ years. In that time, I have meet some amazing children and their families. It is an incredibly rewarding experience to present a mobility bike / trike to a special needs child and see their face light up as they realize they can ride along with their able-bodied siblings and friends. In addition to mobility bikes, Variety has helped Kansas City children and their families with wheelchairs, strollers, transportation needs, wheelchair ramps, braces, lift systems, handicapped accessible playground equipment and more. Variety truly helps improve the quality of life for special needs children and their families.

In addition to the children and families I have meet through Variety, I have enjoyed getting to know the Variety board members who are from all walks of life. We all have a passion in common to help children in the Kansas City area experience life as comfortably, proudly and as happily as possible!!! Thanks to our wonderful Executive Director (Deb), our mission is made possible.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Variety is so passionate about kids with special needs and ensuring that they have the same opportunities as others. Their kid-centered events, their connection with our community's kids, and the true value and spirit that they bring those they serve is immeasurable. Thanks for being a great community leader!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Variety Children's Charity Of Greater Kansas City has been instrumental in helping The Miracle League of Olathe get their Miracle League Baseball field built. They have put in countless hours helping with fundraising and giving ideas to make to make this dream happen. They are great people and know how to get things done. We are very grateful! Eric Hughes

Client Served

Rating: 5

Variety delivers! As a member of the Shawnee Mission Board of Education, I've seen firsthand the wonderful impact this charity has on kids. Variety delivered dozens of wheelchairs to our Instructional Support Center.....our teachers were genuinely moved that a group remembered to help their students. And speaking of students, not only does this nonprofit directly affect children, it also provides volunteer opportunities for students. It was especially gratifying to listen to a Shawnee Mission student explain on a local newscast about the blessing she received in joining fellow high schoolers earn a special bike for a younger Shawnee Mission student.
Variety delivers in many ways....and it chooses to allow others to take the credit thereby enhancing the experience for all. The executive director Deb Wiebrecht keenly understands that leaders of organizations allow others to shine in order to sustain a successful program. In case you were wondering, she is the incredible, shining light guiding the noble efforts to help our kids. Thank you, Deb.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

With more than 20 years in association and non-profit management, I don't think I've ever seen an operation run as well as the Variety Children's Charity of Greater Kansas City. Deborah, the group's Executive Director, has an excitement about the group that's contagious to everyone she comes in contact with. Her passion about those helped by the group and her "out of the box" fundraising ideas help to keep her volunteers engaged.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have helped plan events for Variety Children's Charity of Greater Kansas City for the past 6 years. I am truly amazed by all of their efforts to help in any way that they can to touch so many lives. Seeing the children’s faces light up when they receive a bike just brings tears to my eyes. What a great organization and I am so proud to do my part to help these events happen each year.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

You never stop learning! Three years ago my first experience with Variety and the fantastic people devoting their time to help others, I came to understand how a little helping and caring can go so far. Seeing the smiles on faces of children helped by Variety helps us as individuals realize how fortunate we are then we can understand how a little caring can go so far.

1 Beth76

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I’ve had the awesome opportunity of working with Variety for the last 2 years and my experiences have been nothing but truly rewarding. As a volunteer, supporter, and events committee member, I have seen first-hand what this amazing charity does for our community and the amazing kids that it includes. Variety truly cares about the families they support. I get excited and more motivated each and every time I attend an event, knowing that I am part of this inspirational organization. Every face you see connected to Variety are truly the best people you will ever get to know. LOVE LOVE LOVE Variety!!!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a Variety Board Member I get to see first hand, the hard work and dedication of this organization to the coolest clients in town--our kids! Variety truly understands what it means to give from the heart to those who need it most. My favorite thing about Variety is that regardless of activity, they make it an inclusive environment for EVERYONE!!

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been on the board of directors for Variety Children's Charity for the past few years, and it has been one of the most rewarding experiences. I am thankful to be involved in one of the best organizations in KC. My husband and his friends were training for a triathlon and wanted to raise money for charity, so they selected Variety as the recipient. Through the money they raised they were able to purchase an adaptive bike for a child. When we presented it to him, the smile on his face was so awesome. Now, my kids are doing fundraising activities this summer with their friends to raise money for Variety. Amazing, Amazing organization.

1 4Riceboys

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son Sam is 11 years old and has Spinal Muscular Atrophy. He has been in a wheelchair since he was about 5. About 3 years ago, it became time to look into a new wheelchair for Sam, one with a lot more functionality than the basic one that he had at the time. It was important to us that we find ways to promote his independence as best we could, and getting the right wheelchair with all of the right functions was the key to that. Once all the approvals and ordering and all were done, we were left trying to figure out how we were going to pay for the out-of-pocket expense that we would be responsible for when buying this particular wheelchair. As anyone who has every purchased a power wheelchair knows, they are quite expensive, and even with great insurance, having a 10% or 20% co-insurance due really adds up. I was told that Variety Children's Charity provided some resources and funding to help with the purchase of mobility equipment for kids, and was put into contact with Deb. Their group of young volunteers managed to raise the funds to help us pay for the out-of-pocket expense that we owed. Sam loved his new wheelchair and we got the peace of mind of not having to worry about the cost aspect of it all. Deb and Variety planned a big event when they did the official presentation of the check. It was a baseball themed function, since Sam is a big baseball fan. We met at a local high school baseball field, and were met by many of the Variety team and some local team mascots who played baseball with Sam and his brothers. There were news people there to interview us and to video the event for the news, which made Sam feel really special! It was a very cool thing. Since then, we have been invited to many Variety fundraising events where we have met a lot of special people. This is a great organization, and we are proud to consider ourselves part of the Variety family!

1 Angie Y.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter was born with Spinal Bifida and is wheelchair bound. I suddenly received a call from my school nurse letting me know that Shawnee Mission CCC Club at Shawnee Mission Northwest high school had raised some money. I then talked with Deborah from Variety KC and they decided that they wanted to help the high school find a student in the district to help and they picked my daughter.

They then notified me of this fantastic news and we got to choose a hand cycle to purchase for my daughter so she can ride bikes with her family and friends. The school raised half of the funds and the charity came up with the rest.

We then had an event to show my daughter her new bicycle during a recess at her school in front of the entire 1st grade class. Deborah and Variety made the event so much fun for everyone, they even brought books and stuffed Owls and Rabbits for each child at the event as well. Was inspirational and my daughter and our family will forever be grateful to Shawnee Mission CCC Club and Variety KC for their hard work and kind hearts.

Great organization recommend then to anyone who have a child with special needs Variety cares!!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Variety Children's Charity of Greater Kansas City has an impact for so many families in the Kansas City area. Our daughter Catie as well as our family have been blessed by Variety Children's Charity with the donation of an adaptive tricycle and orthotics. Catie has four siblings so mobility is vital in her world. The adaptive tricycle allowed Catie to ride beside her brothers and sisters. The orthotics have given Catie the strength to begin to learn to run. Variety Children's Charity gave Catie the gift of being "just one of the kids.

Additionally, Variety Children's Charity has benefited our family by allowing us to meet a number of incredible giving individuals and families. Variety kids have given our family the gift of perspective. Variety kids cherish each day and value each moment. Their smiles and laughter are infectious to the soul.

Thank you Variety Children's Charity of Greater Kansas City for blessing Catie with the gift of movement and blessing our family with your impact in the lives of kids with special abilities.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Variety children are incredible young men and women who light up a room with their personalities and spirit. I enjoy getting to spend time with them and the Variety programs.