"No person stands as tall then when they bend to help a child."

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History of Variety Children's Charity

It all began on Christmas Eve 1927, when an infant was abandoned in the Sheridan Theater in Pittsburgh, PA. Pinned to the child was a note that read, "Please take care of my baby. Her name is Catherine, I can no longer take care of her. I have heard of the goodness of show people and I hope you will take care of her" signed "A Heartbroken Mother.

Unable to locate the parents, the group of showmen who found the baby formed a social club called Variety Children's Charity (after the entertainment tabloid, Variety Review) decided to underwrite the infant's support and education. When Catherine Variety Sheridan turned 5, they selected a foster family for her. And this was the beginning of what was to become a worldwide network of volunteers striving to help children in need.

The first Variety event, a circus for children, established the theme for the organization. Each local chapter became a "Tent," beginning with Pittsburgh as Variety Tent #1, and continuing as additional Tents have been established. Today, there are more than 50 Variety Tents around the world. From this effort has grown an international fundraising organization, which draws on the talents and generosity of the movie industry including studios, theater owners and movie-goers like you that support children in local communities who are dealing with poverty, neglect, violence, and physical disability.

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Today, Variety Children's Charity

Variety stands as one of the most effective philanthropic conduits serving the needs of disabled children in over 54 chapters in 14 countries. Championed by such luminaries as Princess Diana, Bette Midler, Sean Connery, Jim Carrey, U.S. President's Jimmy Carter and George Bush and with corporate sponsors such as Sony, Ford Motor Company, American Broadcast Corporation and United Airlines, Variety Children's Charity has gained the trust of donors of all stripes and sizes who truly care how their support is spent. Together all of this hard work and dedication enables Variety to collect over $1 billion worldwide to serve the needs of children.

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Variety the Children's Charity is dedicated to improving the lives of children around the world.

We do this by providing programs of last resort which help families' access medical care and related services that are not covered by insurance companies, hospitals, government agencies or community based organizations.

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Governing Board

International Chairman


Northern California Board Members


Chairman of the Board

Vice President


Executive Director

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Funders (partial list)

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Community Partners (partial list)

Dedicated men and women give their time, talent and resources to make Variety work. Variety Children's Charity is an organization of volunteers who enjoy the great feeling that helping a child gives you the reward of knowing that you have made a difference in the life of a child. Variety is constantly seeking individuals and corporate sponsorship partners on a number of integral levels. We are always looking for new and exciting ways to work with concerned individuals and sponsors and invite you to join us in our efforts to help our special-needs kids.

Our community partners include:

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Get Involved

The children need your help There are many ways you can get involved and make a difference in a child's life. Not only can it be rewarding but it can also be fun. Join our movie club and watch pre-released box office hits in our private movie theater. All fees go directly to the charity. Get involved in our annual events like the Lake Tahoe golf tournament and San Francisco black tie party, which are both critical to raising funds for the charity. We are also always interested in speaking with individuals who would like to make a greater contribution and join our board of directors. What ever your interest level is, the kids appreciate your support.

Variety has been helping our children for over 75 years, and it all starts with people like you. At the heart of Variety Clubs remarkable achievements are the contributions of people with in the community and it is only thorough your time and efforts that we are able to do so much for special children everywhere. If you want more information on Variety's programs call us today at 415.781.3894.

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Become a member

Variety supports kids wherever the need is greatest. Therefore, Variety is asking that you consider joining Variety Children's Charity. Variety kids need your help. Please know no one will be turned away due to lack of funds. Plus, there's the added bonus in knowing that your money is helping to serve needy children around the Bay Area. We thank you for your support.

Download Annual Membership Application (PDF)
Download Annual Membership Application (MS Word)

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