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Variety Blog

Meet the Kids: Garrett

Garrett

Garrett is an eight-year-old living in an apartment complex loaded with kids riding bikes and scooters. His mom used to try and take him along in a wagon, but he has long outgrown that. (Plus, what young man wants his mother pulling him around, right?) an adaptive bike would allow him to join other kids, get important exercise, and grant him some independence. So that’s exactly what Variety friends did for him!  To help other kids like Garrett, contact us at varietykc@gmail.com

Meet the Kids: Truman

Truman

 

Like any two-year-old, Truman just wants to get moving!  His diagnosis of peri ventricular leukomalacia and microcephalic make that a struggle right now. His doctors recommend a gait trainer to get him upright and building strength.  The Caring Program for Children, administered by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, have partnered with Variety and made sure Truman got the device he needed!  We are happy to report that his therapists believe he is highly motivated and progressing well with his gait trainer! Go Truman!  Please consider partnering with Variety to help other kids Be Active, Be Social, and Belong!  Contact us at varietykc@gmail.com

Meet the Kids: Simone

Simone

“Okay Simone, let’s see if there is anything you can do here.” After 13 years in a wheelchair, Simone’s mom explains that they constantly struggle in a world built for ambulatory people. Simone and her twin were born at 24 weeks, a brain bleed resulted in conditions that leave Simone immobile.  She is outgoing, loving, and has a wonderful spirit – but as she ages, it gets more and more difficult for her caregivers to lift her in and out of vehicles. Dangerous too.  The family van needed to be adapted and Simone needed a valet seat in that van.  Generous Variety donors came through once again!  It isn’t always exciting to donate for a child’s needs rather than a wish or want – but it is life-changing, and in some cases, life-saving. Help us to help other kids like Simone, visit www.varietykc.org

Meet the Kids: Kylee

Kylee

Kylee is eleven years old and like most girls her age, she has a lot to say!  Kylee relies on a tablet to communicate, but recently her well-worn tablet finally gave out. With no tablet, Kylee had no voice!  Can you imagine not being able to communicate your needs and wants?  Variety KC acted fast….and for just $200, Kylee has a voice again!  To help other kids in an emergency type situation, contact us today at varietykc@gmail.com.

 

 

Meet the Kids: Jack

Jack

Just look at Jack’s smiling face!  You just have to smile back!  Jack does not string together more than an occasional two-word phrase, but he is very motivated by technology. His therapists feel that an iPad at this young age will go a long way in assisting his communication. Variety partners and donors would love to see that happen, so Jack is now the proud owner of an iPad of his own.  Join us in an effort to keep every child smiling!  Visit www.varietykc.org.

 

 

Meet the Kids: Brandon

Brandon

Brandon is a sweet young man who is completely non-verbal due to Autism. An iPad enables him to communicate at school and during therapy. Having his own device at home will increase communication with his parents and siblings. It will allow him to use one device for home, school, and as he transitions to the workforce. Variety helps kids of all ages to Be Active, Be Social and Belong…and Variety was excited to present Brandon with an iPad of his own.  It’s a great feeling to help a young man like Brandon, come see for yourself – contact varietykc@gmail.com.

 

 

Meet the Kids: Vaughn

Vaughn

At the age of nine, Vaughn has faced more challenges than most adults…and he works so hard!  With vision and mobility hurdles, Vaughn needs an adaptive bike to build strength and to get out and socialize with his friends and family.  His therapists say that he has made great gains using the bike at Beyond Therapy, with noticeable improvement in mobility, strength and endurance. He could continue this progress with a bike at his home and that’s exactly what generous Variety donors thought too!  Join us to help other kids like Vaughn, visit www.varietykc.org.

 

 

Meet the Kids: Lily

Lily

Lily is surrounded by a loving family and amazing health professionals. She is a smiling little sweetheart that would love to interact more given the right tools.  A GoTo seat would give her the stability to sit upright and focus. A playpak would give her the opportunity to practice various positions in an effort to play and work more independently. And finally, her therapists have recommended an Upsee to allow Lily to experience walking upright….and that means playing soccer, tag, baseball and being outside with her brother and twin sister. This great equipment is available, but the cost of raising a child with special needs prevents many families from having access to these tools. Variety KC is changing that!  Help us help all kids to Be Active, Be Social, and Belong! Contact us at varietykc@gmail.com.

 

 

Danny and Sara Duffy are 2017 Heart Award Honorees

Many professional athletes generously use their celebrity to help support causes near and dear to their hearts. Charitable organizations value these relationships tremendously and often reach out to local celebrities for help. Needless to say, one person can only give so much…and they get approached with numerous requests each year.

In all her years serving in the non-profit world, Variety KC’s Executive Director, Deb Wiebrecht, had never had a celebrity approach her and offer to help. And as Deb says, “that’s when you know the person is truly leading from their heart.”

And HEART is exactly the reason for this blog. Each year, Variety KC awards their Heart Award to the person(s) going above and beyond to serve children with special needs in our community. Variety KC is proud to announce that 2017’s Heart Award honorees are Danny and Sara Duffy!

danny and sara duffy

 

Danny and Sara Duffy truly lead from the heart. You see, it was Danny that let it be known that he, and his wife Sara, would be available for events supporting Variety KC’s kids.

It started back in July of 2015 when Variety hosted an event for dozens of special needs kids at Kauffman Stadium (home to the World Champion KC Royals!) There were several players in attendance, a party atmosphere, and activities at the stadium’s “Little K.”

That afternoon, Danny spent hours speaking to each and every child, getting down to ground level and truly engaging with them. He has a heart, and soul, that natural cares. It was at the end of the event that Danny gave Deb his personal phone number and asked to be involved again.

danny and sara duffy

Not everyone is comfortable with people who are “different.” As a result, many children with special needs can end up isolated. Danny and Sara are an exception. They soon made an appearance at Variety’s Radiothon, both of them spending time with the children, asking questions and listening – essentially making every child feel important and cared for. There have been other events and even personal gifts from the Duffy’s, but their greatest gift is the respect and friendship that this young couple shares with children that are all too often invisible.

That’s our definition of HEART?   Write and tell us about yours!

 

Meet the Kids: Jaivynn

Jaivynn

Jaivynn is a toddler with autism, speech delay and global development delay. Because he can’t communicate his wants and needs, he gets frustrated and sometimes aggressive. On a positive note, he is beginning to try to imitate people and songs from television. His therapists think it would be beneficial to start on an alternative way to communicate while he also works on talking. Jaivynn is being raised by a single mom with two small children, and the device he needs is beyond his her means. Health insurance won’t cover the cost either. But that doesn’t mean little Jaivynn goes without! Generous Variety donors have made it possible to give him a voice—and you can help other children have the same power of communication. Find out how at www.varietyykc.org.

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