By Cindy Himes
The Penguins Foundation supports a wide variety of children’s charities in the Pittsburgh region and today’s blog highlights one of our long-time community partners – Variety the Children’s Charity!
Variety the Children’s Charity strives to provide children with opportunities to discover the possibilities for their own lives, and truly be a kid, first and foremost. And now, during Variety’s Spring Mobility Equipment Campaign, their mission has become even more steadfast.
During the past pandemic year, Variety presented over 1,000 adaptive bikes, adaptive strollers, and communication devices (valued at $1.5 million) to kids with disabilities. The effects of the pandemic have taken a toll on everyone, but especially on children who live with disabilities. And throughout the pandemic, parents are more eager than ever to get this life-changing equipment.
Over the past year, Variety set a record with 1,062 equipment distributions and it is astounding that they did it during the pandemic! Parents continue to communicate how critical this equipment is for their children, and Variety has received 35+ new applications on average a week since March 2021.
With the increased volume of applications, Variety needs help funding its two mobility programs that provide adaptive bikes and adaptive strollers. These children wait on so many things; but, with help from the community, we can ensure that no kids wait on fun and freedom this summer.
Please join the Penguins Foundation in supporting Variety and the children they serve by making a donation to Variety’s Spring Mobility Equipment Campaign. It’s easy to donate – just visit www.varietypittsburgh.org/donate. Or, donations may be mailed to: Variety – the Children’s Charity, 11279 Perry Highway, Suite 512, Wexford, PA 15090.
And now …
I’d like you to meet Lucas, age 6, from Erie PA who recently received his bike and stroller!
“I like my bike,” was the first thing Lucas said with a smile when he got on it. His Mom shared, “Riding a bike is taken for granted by many, myself included, until you have a special needs child. This bike will give Lucas the confidence he needs to ride a bike with the family, and bring a sense of normalcy to his childhood.” And, the adaptive stroller is important to the family because “Lucas has a heavy, power wheel chair, but this stroller will give him a light-weight option to allow him to easily participate in the community.”
Lucas’s smile and giggles were priceless!