Variety – the Children’s Charity of South Australia is delighted to announce that is has assisted over 22,000 children in the last 12 months through 175 grants, totalling a staggering $2.484m.
The charity thanks its large base of generous event entrants and volunteers, numbered in the hundreds, who have made this result possible.
With a discerning grants committee headed by highly respected cardiologist Dr Bronte Ayres and a rigorous fiscal policy, the charity only distributes funds generated in the previous year. This ensures each and every child in South Australia has the best opportunity to be assisted, and the organisation knows from the outset the level of funds they have to give.
“We are spectacularly proud of this result,” said Ron Barton, Chair of the Board.
“More money means assisting more children, and in an economic environment where each dollar is getting tougher and tougher to raise due to a wide choice of many worthwhile causes, we know it is our committed support network that gives us the edge,” he said.
The money Variety raises goes towards helping children who are sick, disadvantaged (financially or geographically) or who have special needs to give them practical programs, equipment and experiences to help them live life to the fullest.
Examples of how grant money was spent include: providing Sunshine Coaches for six South Australian special schools, enabling students to get out and about in the community, benefitting up to 6,000 children by the refurbishment of the Life Education Mobile Learning Centre and buying Christmas presents for over 1,000 disadvantaged children, who may have otherwise not have received anything.
32 wheelchair accessible vehicles were given to families in need; this equates to an average of three every month driving out the Variety gates to go to families who are so thankful for the support.
The burden eased on a family who has a child with a physical disability is important, making the challenge of life just that little bit easier.
Sharyn and Gareth, parents of twenty month old Mack Darlington, were granted a specially modified vehicle by Variety, enabling them to take their first trip together.
Mack’s tiny body needs to lie flat at all times meaning that to travel anywhere with his Mum, Dad and older brother Mason, he needs a vehicle specially modified to strap his pram in.
“It will be a whole new experience for us being able to get out and about like a normal family for the first time,’’ Sharyn said.
“Before we received our specially modified vehicle from Variety SA, our family were trapped; physically we could not experience everyday activities that society often takes for granted. I could not pick up my other son from school. We could never imagine attending our friends and families special occasions. Christmas parties were never an option,’’ she said.
Little Mack lives with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) which is the number one genetic killer of children under two and for which there is sadly no cure.
To donate or apply for a grant, visit the website.