Variety Blog

Meet the Kids: Zane


Zane is only eight years old. Too young to understand why he is losing the ability to walk. Too young to understand that he has an illness for which there is no cure. With all this to worry about, the last thing his parents (father is military) need to worry about is finding a way to safely get Zane and his wheelchair into the family van. The wheelchair has been an amazing help to Zane, he can now keep up and play with his brothers again, but it has also presented so many challenges in transporting him. Variety partners have the biggest hearts in the world – and through their generosity – Zane will get the van adaption he needs. To help a child like Zane, please visit



Meet the Kids: Christian


Christian is like most three-year-old kids; when he goes to a store he wants this or that and gets quickly overcome with stimulating sights. The difference is, Christian can’t verbalize his wants and needs. Being in public seems to trigger the frustration, anger and anxiety. Variety’s gift of an iPad not only gives him a way to communicate his desires, it provides the opportunity to learn, and is a distraction from potentially difficult situations. As his mom points out, it also keeps him entertained and willing to sit safely in a shopping cart. This tool can do so much for a non-verbal child. Won’t you help others like Christian? Contact and find out how!





Meet the Kids: Ryan


If you’re a parent, you know how frustrated a small child can get when not being able to communicate what he wants. For four-year-old Ryan, that’s a struggle every single day. With ADHD, ODD, and Autism, there are days filled with anxiety and emotional episodes. The solution? An iPad. Simple technology that allows Ryan to calm down, communicate and learn more effectively, and lessen the chance for a meltdown. Variety partners and donors pulled together to make this iPad a life-changing reality for Ryan and his family. Ready to change a few more lives? Contact and find out how you can help.



Meet the Kids: Brody


Twenty years ago, if your child could not communicate you were given little choices….flash cards, word charts….but today’s technology allows non-verbal children to communicate much more effectively. Three-year-old Brody has already started working on an iPad! Therapy like this at an early age can help so much in school and all environments. The ideal situation would be an iPad of his own – and that’s exactly what caring Variety donors wanted for Brody! Brody was another of our amazing Variety Kids who received a new iPad during the recent Variety Hoedown event. Would you like to help other children like Brody – and make next year’s Hoedown a record breaking year for communication devices? Contact


Meet the Kids: Hunter



Meet the Kids: Jonah


Little Jonah may just be the most loving little fella you’ll ever come across. He has global developmental delays in both motor and speech, and he has medical health challenges. Between juggling his doctor appointments, school meetings, PT, OT and Speech Therapy, Jonah is busy just being a kid! He loves being outside and on his last birthday he got a bike. However, he can’t ride that bike without some special adaptive training wheels. His mom says that Jonah is still young enough that he doesn’t realize that he can’t do everything that other kids do – and because of Variety’s generous donors, bike riding won’t be one of those!  Jonah is getting those training wheels and will be zooming around with his buddies in no time. Help other Variety Kids get moving by visiting!

A Thank You Letter from Charlotte’s Family

Hi, My name is Katie Ireland and this is my daughter Charlotte. Charlotte falls into the category of special needs although we still lack an official diagnosis. The last two years have been full of painful genetic blood tests, an MRI, an EKG, an EEG, an EMG and a muscle biopsy – all without official results. All we really know is that she has severe low muscle tone and global developmental delays. 

Katie & CharlotteThe last two years have also been jam-packed with therapy and doctors’ appointments and even a therapeutic preschool. It has been rough. With very few silver linings.

One positive change we have had in our family is adding a baby brother for Charlotte. He is now 1 and is a ball of energy and shows no signs of whatever is causing our Charlotte to be delayed. As Max has grown, my husband and I really started noticing how little Charlotte is able to do with her brother and her peers. It has seemed like almost every toy and almost every park was made with only average needs kids in mind. We were beginning to be feel depressed and closed off.

But something amazing happened. Our physical therapist at her preschool told us about the Go Baby Go! cars and she suggested we apply. Honestly I thought it was a long shot. But clearly, I did not know Variety yet. I filled out the application and a few weeks later I received a phone call from Deborah. And when I say she was excited to share the good news, that is a big understatement. She was ecstatic to be able to give our little family such an incredible gift and her excitement was felt tenfold in my husband and I. They, Variety Club and Rockhurst were going to personally adapt a car for our Charlotte. She was INCLUDED!! And not just her – 19 other toddlers were going to feel the same inclusion.

A couple weeks later, we attended the Variety Club Halloween Party, and from that moment on I knew that we had found our silver lining! The next weekend was the build and we experienced pure pride as we watched our little “developmentally delayed” child drive that car with ease. And the smile on her face was worth the 2 years of tests and therapies and unknowns. Not only that, we were able to deliver a go baby go car to Charlotte’s best friend Mason who is also severely low tone but had a benefit in his honor on the day of the build. It was incredible. His parents and my husband and I were in tears at the gifts we had been given.

Although my husband isn’t here today, I know he would join me in saying a BIG THANK YOU to all of you that contribute to Variety. YOU make inclusion happen for our children and you make life a whole lot happier for the children and their parents. Thank you!!

P.O. Box 3446 | Shawnee, KS 66203 | (913) 558-2309 |