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How We Help

CARE PROGRAMS

Through the provision of imperative, relevant and practical equipment, services and experiences Variety - the Children’s Charity and its supporters serve children who may fall through the cracks of government funding or other aid.

Through the essential services and support by core programs, Variety Detroit delivers on its promise to provide a future without limits for children with special needs.


The Variety Myoelectric Center

Variety - the Children's Charity Detroit is the founder of a very unique and integral program — the Variety Myoelectric Center — serving children with upper limb differences for over thirty years.

The Variety Myoelectric Center at Beaumont Children’s Hospital is the only comprehensive program in North America that provides a doctor, two prosthetists, occupational therapists and the necessary funding for equipment and therapy services to children with limb deficiencies. Infants as young as twelve months are fitted with a state-of-the-art myoelectric hand that opens and closes, allowing them to use two hands to perform daily tasks.

Children are fitted yearly as they grow, and the used prosthetic limb is then donated to the Variety Limb Bank, an exclusive collection of limbs, electronics and accessories which allows these functional limbs to be used again for children in need. Each child attends "clinic" yearly for reassessment and receives extensive therapy to enhance the function of her new limb.

It is a truly innovative program that serves a unique population that, otherwise, struggles to find such support and care.

For more information about the Variety Myoelectric Center, click here.


Variety Feeds Kids

Variety Feeds Kids provides more than 1,200 qualifying children who are at-risk of weekend hunger in three schools in one Oakland County school district with balanced, nutritious food.  Elementary students whose daily breakfasts and lunches are typically provided through school programs routinely experience hunger on weekends.  Variety Feeds Kids furnishes a weekend bag containing food that is nutritious, non-perishable, easy to prepare and child-friendly to hungry children.

Working cooperatively with school officials and staff as well as the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office, the bags of food are distributed to children each Friday afternoon or before a long holiday weekend.  With the support of partnering organizations and corporations, Variety Feeds Kids not only nourishes the bodies of elementary students but also encourages positive relationships and fosters educational opportunities for children.  


Variety Produce Rescue Mission

The Variety Produce Rescue Mission utilizes the vast amount of produce that arrives every day at the Detroit Terminal but which would remain unsold to reach those in need.  Previously, there was no program in place to rescue the produce that would otherwise be thrown out; therefore a system for procuring and quickly moving the low cost or donated produce to those in need was established.  Variety’s goal for this program is to provide healthy, nutritional food to children who otherwise might go to bed hungry.

Each terminal operator at the Detroit Union Produce terminal works collaboratively with the program, and the produce wholesalers willingly facilitate this incredible program as well.  Due to partnership with Gleaners Community Food Bank, these goods are then distributed across the five county metro areas through relief agencies, soup kitchens, shelters and outreach centers.

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FREEDOM PROGRAMS

Variety - the Children's Charity Detroit delivers vital life-changing equipment and services for mobility, independence and social inclusion to individual children and partnering children’s organizations through core programs which include:


Variety Bikes for Kids Program

Bikes are most often an integral part of childhood, but for some children in our community, owing a bike is a mere dream. Variety has made this dream a reality for wonderful and deserving children, providing bikes to thousands of children for nearly two decades.

Through the generosity of Variety’s local supporters, children receive the gift of a bicycle, lock, and helmet at an annual holiday party. A select number of prescriptively modified bicycles are presented to children with special needs as well—ensuring that children enjoy the freedom of childhood.


Variety’s 4-H Handicap Horseback Riding Program

The Variety Handicap Horseback Riding Program is a therapeutic as well as recreational program for those with cognitive and/or physical challenges. Under the guidance and leadership of trained instructors, horseback riding provides an excellent form of physical and emotional therapy.

The goal of the program is improved self-image for each rider. This is accomplished through reinforcing existing abilities and challenging riders to strive for greater achievements within the scope of each individual. Even the most reluctant rider soon discovers that the program is fun. Each session consists of riding instructions, exercise and games on horseback. Parents of riders are enthusiastic in describing the physical progress and improved self-confidence in their children in riding therapy.

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FUTURE PROGRAMS

Variety - the Children's Charity Detroit delivers crucial life-enriching goods and juvenile products to underserved children with the support of major corporations, retailers and individuals to create a bright future for children through core programs which include:


Variety’s Kids In Distressed Situations Program (K.I.D.S.)

Kids in Distressed Situations, Inc. (K.I.D.S.) is a national charity of leading retailers and manufacturers of children’s products committed to helping children in need. K.I.D.S. encourages and facilitates donations of new apparel, shoes, toys, juvenile products and other items that benefit children who are ill, living in poverty, or are the victims of natural disasters.

Variety - the Children's Charity Detroit is the main facilitator of this important program in the metropolitan Detroit area. K.I.D.S. provides high-quality donated merchandise such as clothing, shoes, books, toys and educational materials via a network of social service agencies that, in turn, deliver the goods to children, youth and families in need.


The Variety Community Outreach Program

Variety - the Children's Charity Detroit supports many local children’s organizations across Southeast Michigan through financial grants in a partnership effort to make a difference in the lives of children in need.

Unlike most charitable organizations that focus on a single area problem or issue, Variety Detroit focuses on multiple unmet needs of children who are disadvantaged, challenged or live with disabilities and other special needs at a local level.

Though Variety Detroit is part of an international charity, we commit our funding, efforts, and programming to children in Southeastern Michigan. Our aim is to affect long-term and positive cognitive, physical, and social impact for all children.

At Variety Detroit, we are small enough to listen yet big enough to make a difference. Join us in changing the lives of children.

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