One afternoon in 1927, a whimper cut through the empty auditorium at East Liberty’s Sheridan Square Theatre. The showmen, who had been enjoying a card game after their latest matinee, went to investigate. They found a baby girl with a note pinned to her chest: “Please take care of my baby.”
The variety club who ran the theatre found her a permanent home and decided to raise money for her support and education. When the community responded with way more support than one child needed, the Variety Club charity was born.
Nearly a century later, Variety Pittsburgh: The Children’s Charity is one chapter of an international organization. Its goal is to help children with disabilities get what they need to play and interact with other children. In other words, let kids be kids.
The local chapter does this with three main programs: My Bike, My Stroller, and My Voice.
Growing up, many kids got their first bike from the local department store or bike shop—maybe even a yard sale. It’s not quite that easy for children with disabilities. Many need adaptive bikes that are designed for their individual needs.
Unfortunately, these customized bicycles can be prohibitively expensive for many families. That’s where Variety Pittsburgh comes in: Through this organization, you can sponsor an adaptive bike to help a child in need experience the same joy, freedom, and sense of belonging you did when you got your first bike.
For children who need more help getting around, an adaptive stroller can be a better option. These strollers provide a good alternative to a wheelchair for those times when the wheelchair is too heavy to carry or too large to fit in a car. They also provide more mobility and safety in large crowds, especially for children who aren’t aware of their surroundings.
Just like the bicycles, these adaptive wheelchairs are customized for each child’s needs. They allow families more freedom to go to community events, family gatherings, and other areas outside of the home.
Have you ever tried going a day without talking? How do you communicate your thoughts, needs, or even pain? Children with communication disorders often rely on special devices to give them a voice.
Sometimes, these devices are available in school, but children can’t take them home. Variety Pittsburgh helps children have a voice all day long—not just at school—by providing them with communication devices that are programmed with prescribed communication apps.
How to Help Variety Pittsburgh: The Children’s Charity
Do you want to be a hero for kids in need? There are many ways to help out this great cause. First and foremost, financial donations go a long way to sponsoring the above programs. However, there are also plenty of ways to lend your time and expertise to Variety Pittsburgh: The Children’s Charity. Follow the organization on Facebook to learn more!