Variety Blog

Meet the Kids: Harlie


Little Harlie uses an Accent 1000 communication device and she loves it! For the first time, she can communicate what she wants or needs. The device has a robot voice and a Vocal ID voice would actually give her a personalized voice. This would help teachers identify who is speaking, it would help in social situations because she would have a unique voice like other kids….and best of all, her parents would hear her say “mom,” “dad,” and “I love you” in a voice that would truly be Harlie. For a family overwhelmed with the expenses of raising a child with special needs, the Vocal ID is not something they can do right now – but Variety donors can, and did! That’s because Variety believes every kid should Be Active, Be Social, and Belong. Harlie’s new voice will help her belong. Won’t you help other kiddos like Harlie? Visit

Meet the Kids: Zack


Twelve-year-old Zack is wheelchair dependent and nearly the same size as his single parent mother, his sole caregiver. His list of conditions and surgeries is long and you would wonder how he remains so happy and positive! His spinal surgery last August makes a power wheelchair necessary, but the family has no way to transport Zack safely in his chair. As a result, he has been housebound for nearly a year…all for lack of a Van Ramp. When Variety partners heard that, they opened their hearts and check books – and now Zack will have the ramp he so badly needs to get out and interact with his community again. Please help us to help other children like Zack, visit

Meet the Kids: Benjamin


Benjamin is an explorer! Going on four, he is eager to be out and about, exploring his world and learning all he can. Diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy and Dystonia, Benjamin needs AFO Braces to support him as he navigates his world. A Variety KC’s Kids on the Go grant will ensure that Benjamin continues on his adventures, gets the beneficial physical activity he needs, and has a way to get out and interact with friends. Help us make this possible for all kids with special needs, visit

Meet the Kids: Lexi


Lexi is a beautiful happy six year-old girl who was born healthy, but contracted meningitis as an infant and is diagnosed with Spastic Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy.
Her mother, a single parent, keeps Lexi active, interested, social and engaged. As Lexi grows it is becoming more and more difficult to a safely transport her. They need help in getting their vehicle modified for Lexi’s wheelchair. While raising Lexi, her mom also completed her college degree, the two of them are a determined force to reckon with! Variety stepped in to help this little family who is working so hard themselves….and Lexi will get the van lift they so desperately need. The next time you easily jump in the car and take off, think of Lexi and others like her, who have no safe way to get where they are going. To volunteer or donate to Variety, please visit


Meet the Kids: Jake


Jake is a resourceful young man that communicates by taking someone over to an item he wants or needs. Jake uses an iPad at school, with core words like “I want” or “yes and no.” There are also words relevant to his life and surroundings like “lounge” and “sour patch kids.” He is picking up vocabulary rapidly and having an iPad at home would help his overall progress and lessen the difficulty in communication. Variety supporters made an iPad possible for Jake – and earned a giant “Thank You!” Just a simple tool stands between a non-verbal child and a voice, won’t you help us help more kids like Jake? Email us at

Meet the Kids: Xavier


Put yourself in six-year-old Xavier’s shoes. As a toddler he did not speak as much as his sister, but he was verbal. At age three that stopped. It took time for an Autism diagnosis and he lost out on some early therapy, but he is working hard each day. His frustration sometimes leads to aggression, understandably so. With an iPad and apps, Xavier will have a way to communicate again. Variety donors provided him with the tools he needed to find his “voice.” Can there be any greater gift? Please join us in helping Variety kids like Xavier! Visit

Meet the Kids: Carly


Carly squeezes the most out of life. On the severe side of the autism spectrum, she needs help with daily care and is mostly non-verbal – she is also unstoppable! Carly likes swimming, inline skating, taking walks and investigating her world. Last year her father passed away unexpectedly, making some expenses beyond reach. Variety learned that active Carly was enjoying the large adaptive bike at school and knew that having one at home would give her not only enjoyment, but important physical activity. So here you go Carly! You are off to the races with a bike of your own, thanks to generous Variety partners. Join us in making sure every kid has a chance to Be Active, Be Social, and Belong!

Meet the Kids: Mason


Mason has a complex condition that leaves him relying on assistance for daily living. He has a power wheelchair that enables him to get around and get to school via the bus with a lift.  His family van doesn’t have such a lift, limiting Mason’s opportunities to get out in the community; to watch his sister play soccer, go to the grocery store, or visit family.  Even in today’s increasingly inclusive world, if you can’t get out of the house – how can you experience it? Variety provided a lift for Mason and his family, so Mason can now get out and Be Active, Be Social, and Belong.  Help us to help all kids do the same, donate at

Meet the Kids: Elijah


This is a situation that we hear all too often. 17-year-old Elijah has outgrown his wheelchair, which after four years was breaking down and the family was told it can’t be repaired and restored to hold him. Insurance won’t cover a new one for another year, leaving Elijah immobile and homebound. A rental is filling in, but that cost mounts as well. This isn’t a “want,” for Elijah, whose rare condition of sacral agenesis means his spine quit growing and is absent after L2, this is a dire need!  Still, if you ask Elijah what he would change about his condition, he says “nothing!” He likes overcoming obstacles.  A new wheelchair is one less obstacle Elijah has to deal with, generous Variety supporters saw to that!  Help Variety cover the basic needs for children with special needs, visit

Meet the Kids: 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

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