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How We Help

Through the provision of imperative, relevant and practical equipment, services and experiences, Variety – the Children’s Charity of Northern California and its supporters serve children who may fall through the cracks of government funding or other aid. Under its core programs, Variety delivers on its promise to provide a future without limits for every child, regardless of their background or ability.


Freedom Program

FREEDOM aims to help kids gain mobility, confidence, freedom, independence and the chance to join in the life of their community by providing funding for families with the most need. Variety’s Freedom Program delivers vital life-changing equipment and services for mobility, independence and social inclusion to individual children and children’s organizations. Together through the Freedom program, we change children’s lives by granting items and services that provide independence, mobility and freedom. Grants under the Freedom program are made to individual children and children’s organizations. Covering a wide scope, Freedom grants may cover:

  • Manual and powered wheelchairs
  • Adaptive bicycles and trikes
  • Assistance animals
  • Hoists and lifts
  • Modified vehicle access
  • Standing and walking assistance like gait trainers, walkers, standing frames and positioning systems
  • Specialized car seating, shower and toilet chairs, and many more
  • My First Bike - A program in which children are presented with a bicycle of their very own, along with a safety helmet, lock and chain. Through our relationships with various agencies, we look for deserving children based upon need, school performance and more.
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Future Program

This program is designed to assist families in need. We currently have many separate giving areas:

  • Holiday Toy Program – Each year Variety disseminates thousands of toys to local children and partner agencies as part of our efforts to ensure that as many children as possible can share in the holiday spirit.
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  • School Supplies Drive – Every year Variety provides school supplies to nearly 1,000 children in need.
  • Birthday Buddies – An exciting program giving caring families the opportunity to find a Variety Birthday Buddy and give a birthday to a child who would otherwise go without. Turn your child’s birthday into a chance to give back! In lieu of accepting gifts at your child’s birthday, your guests can purchase a tax-deductible gift from their birthday buddy’s wishlist and have them sent right to Variety for wrapping and special delivery!
Birthday Buddy
  • Amazon Smile - Amazon Smile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at smile.amazon.com, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to your favorite charitable organization. You can choose from nearly one million organizations to support.
Amazon Smile

Care Program

The needs are great, and Variety - the Children's Charity of Northern California has established the CARE Program, a primary provider of essential funds often required by families of children with illness. A diagnosis of childhood illness is devastating for the family. The Fund supplies basic household and family expenses, such as food, electricity, telephone, rent bills, clothing, and toys, as well as helping during emergency situations such as unexpected travel expenses, special tutoring, and, sadly, funeral planning and costs assistance.

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Samantha Marie Memorial Fund

Variety – The Children's Charity of Northern California has created the Samantha Marie Memorial Fund to provide you with an outlet of support and understanding when coping with the death of a baby.

The Samantha Marie Memorial Fund is part of the CARE Program and is meant to help very premature infants and their families who are in crisis during the first year of their child's life. We deeply appreciate your donation.

Home Improvement Project

Variety's Home Improvement Project (HIP) will re-modify homes for low-income homeowners and renters who have children with disabilities. Many families that Variety serves are living in structures that are not equipped to accommodate children with disabilities. Many of the homes are either ill-equipped or deteriorating to the point where they are hazardous and could potentially contribute to injuries. HIPs will make an impact by providing necessary repairs for existing homeowners and renters. Our goal is to enable children and their families to live safely, independently and with dignity.

  • Increase safety, security and independence
  • Empower and sustain life
  • Promote local partnerships through volunteerism and sponsorship
  • Raise awareness of the growing need for home modifications
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Sunshine Coach

Although no longer supported locally, Variety's Sunshine Coach Program is a global initiative that provides specially equipped passenger vans to transport children with physical limitations to medical facilities, special events and enrichment programs. Sunshine Coaches are distributed through an application process whereby requests from non-profit children's organizations are evaluated in regards to organizations size and scope, vehicle's intended use, etc.

Ford receives numerous requests daily from worthy, charitable organizations for loaner vehicles. We have long recognized the great need for vehicles within the charitable community. However, Ford simply does not have the resources to fulfill all requests. Thus, they have elected to work through the Variety network. Sunshine Coaches applications are accepted all year through our international site at variety.org.


Variety Preview Room

Sensory friendly screenings of family appropriate films for those raising children with special needs. Exclusive screenings in the Variety Preview Room provide a raised lighting and lowered sound volume experience designed to ease a child's comfort level. Events are free-of-charge to children and their families and currently take place within our private theater. For upcoming screenings and other opportunities, please contact us.

  • Inclusive Movie Screenings - Screenings of family friendly films for those raising children with special needs. Screenings provide a raised lighting and lowered sound volume experience designed to ease a child's comfort level. Events are free-of-charge to children and currently take place within our private theater. For upcoming opportunities, please contact us.