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2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Variety - The Children's Charity of Wisconsin

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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


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

3 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been a Board Member for many years, and a volunteer and contributer even before that! I love this charity because we see the kids and families we serve -how their life experience is enhanced. To see the joy in their being (and on their family's faces) is beyond belief! Giving special needs kids mobility opportunities with special equipment - opporutnities we take for granted like riding a bike, standing up, moving independently from place to place - is so humbling. Providing dream experiences for them like Chatter Matters Camp, Museums, Movies, fishing trips, auto races etc. that because of their mobility issues - their families would find challenging at best to afford or handle alone - it's amazing to see! And that's why it's the best - because we see and meet and get close to these very unique and caring kids and their families in a way that I've not see in any other Charity - ever.

Comments ( 1 )


Duavang 10/02/2014

Thank you so much for taking the time to write a review for Variety. We are so fortunate to have such passionate people like you serving on our Board of Directors!

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am a long time supporter of Variety Childrens Charity and a past president. I have been to the homes of the children we have helped and met with their families. The gratitude they express for making the lives of their children a little better is worth all the effort we put in, in raising funds to be able to help them. When the mom's give you a big hug, it's hard not to shed a tear or two. I will always do whatever I can to help these families. When there is no one else to turn to, Variety will find a way to help improve the life of a family and a child in need. Patrick Downs, Board Member

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.