Variety helps children with special needs gain mobility, confidence, freedom, independence, and the chance to join in the life of their community by providing funding for specialized bicycles, gait trainers, standers, mobile standers, specialized strollers, specialized car seats, and more to families in need. What started as a program offering specialized bikes has expanded to fit the growing needs of children in our communities.

In addition to seeing the smiles on children’s faces, these mobility pieces offer both physical and therapeutic benefits. Unfortunately, these items are cost prohibitive to some families and are rarely covered by insurance. That’s why we work with physical therapists throughout the state to identify children who would greatly benefit from a specialized bike or other piece of mobility equipment.

“This bike will help Liam in so many ways. It’s going to help strengthen his muscles while also improving his posture. It will also improve many more areas of motor function including his range of motion and coordination. We are hopeful this will help him walk one day. We truly believe this bike will help boost his confidence and allow him to participate in activities with his siblings as well as other children. He is just so proud the second he sits on a bike.

We are truly grateful Liam will be able to be active in such a fun way. A lot of the exercises and things he has to practice day to day just become normal and don’t seem as fun and he sometimes loses the motivation to keep going. However, when he started riding a bike he just didn’t want to stop because he was having so much fun while also working on building up the muscle strength in his legs and body.
This will also benefit all of us as a family. We enjoy seeing Liam smile and improve in all areas of life. His siblings love the idea of him getting to go on bike rides with them during our nightly walks when it’s nice out. As a family we want to encourage Liam to be the best Liam he can be. We just want him to feel part of and help him love life no matter where it takes him, and this bike is going to help keep him motivated to do just that.”

– Liam’s mom Ashley


About Variety – The Children’s Charity

On October 10, 1927 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, eleven young men affiliated with show business met at the William Penn Hotel for the first meeting of their newly formed social club. The gentlemen decided on the name “The Variety Club” because they represented a variety of facets of the entertainment business. The club received its official charter from the State of Pittsburgh on Oct. 18, 1928.

But The Variety Club’s true calling came a few months later on Christmas Eve, 1928, when the manager of the Sheridan Square Theatre in Pittsburgh found an infant abandoned in the theatre. The baby girl had a note pinned to her clothing:

“Please take care of my baby. Her name is Catherine. I can no longer take care of her. I have eight others. My husband is out of work. She was born on Thanksgiving Day. I have always heard of the goodness of show business people and pray to God that you will look after her. 

Signed, A heartbroken mother”

Today, Variety – the Children’s Charity has a network of 44 chapters in 13 countries, and many millions of individual children around the world, like Catherine, live a better life because of the generosity of Variety’s donors, sponsors and supporters.

Learn more about Variety,