Mitchell is a bright and happy boy 8 year old boy who has Spina Bifida, Epilepsy and Autism and is unable to walk. Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, Variety has been able to assist Mitchell with a new wheelchair, allowing him to be independent & enjoy his sport and other activities.
Mitchell’s mum, Lynette, sent this message that we wanted to share with you:
Having Mitchell has been the biggest blessing of our lives. It by far is not the easiest job though. Financially it has put a lot of strain on our family as I had to leave my work position to care for Mitchell, so we dropped back to a one income family which then turns to a physical and emotional drain not only on myself but my husband as well. We also have two younger children who love Mitchy so much, but have to miss out on a lot of extra activities due to it not suiting Mitchell’s needs or we financially can’t afford for them to go. It is very hard to juggle sometimes but we are very lucky to have an amazing support network through my family and our friends who understand. He is so happy all the time, which makes it all worth it in the end.
No words can describe how grateful we are to Variety for funding a wheelchair for Mitchell. To the amazing supporters who take their own precious time to fundraise so this is possible, thank you. To be able to see our son so independent, to see our son bring home a medal and a trophy for being aged champion in wheel chair races or just to see him at the park playing with other children, is something more than we could have imagined, and this is because he has the equipment that he needs, all thanks to the outstanding job that you do.
So please keep up the good work, because it really makes a huge difference in someone’s life.
Variety – the Children’s Charity of Queensland is very proud to have, with the generosity of our supporters, been able to help Mitchell with the funding for a new wheelchair.
Nhulunbuy is a remote community town located in the Gove Peninsula of the Northern Territory and is approximately 700kms east of Darwin along an unsealed road. Most supplies and visitors are brought to Nhulunbuy by air or sea transport.
Nhulunbuy High School caters to the education requirements of mainstream high school students and included in their faculty is a Special Education Centre which supports high needs students from Years 7 – 12.
The teachers are longstanding community members with a passion for ensuring their students excel in all areas and have the best chance in life despite their geographical disadvantage. It is this dedication that prompted the school staff to apply for a Sunshine Coach, with a wheelchair lifter, to transport students to excursions and sporting events and also be available for other educational service providers in the wider community. Due to the remote location and as the only other local transport in the town is one taxi, this appeal was considered favourably by the Variety NT Board.
Last year, it was with pleasure that our Variety NT Appeals Chairman personally travelled to Nhulunbuy to present a 12 seater Sunshine Coach to the very excited staff and students at Nhulunbuy High School. On taking ownership of their new Sunshine Coach the high school students and staff have said they all love their Sunshine Coach and it’s fabulous. One staff member said, “The bus is easy to drive when transporting students and having a bus has been a very positive outcome for the school and our students and we are all very proud of our bus.”
Family life was very difficult for the Dias-Bandaranayke’s until Variety – the Children’s Charity NSW granted $10,000 towards a much-needed vehicle modification so that their eight-year-old daughter, Leyan could be transported safely in her wheelchair.
When Leyan was four years old she suffered a horrific brain injury, caused by autoimmune encephalitis, which saw her hospitalised for six months with uncontrollable seizures, and she lost the ability to walk and to talk. She is now very medically fragile with chronic seizures, chronic lung disease, poor immunity, severe physical disability, no verbal communication and severe cognitive deficits, and needs a suction machine to prevent aspiration and as such, is entirely dependent on her family for all of her daily needs.
In addition to attending school, Leyan needs to attend frequent medical appointments, so safe transportation is of upmost importance. The family was able to purchase a van, but could not raise enough money for the expensive vehicle modifications to accommodate Leyan, hence their application to Variety for help.
Nandani explains that the vehicle modification is more than just for convenience but enhances the quality of Leyan’s life. “We are conscious that Leyan’s life won’t be a long one, and we are determined that our family makes the absolute most of every moment we have together. Since having the modifications done to our van, we have travelled to Wollongong and also to Newcastle to feed the dolphins, which the children loved, and we’re planning on driving to Canberra in the next school holidays to spend precious time together.”
In 2012, Variety Japan held the charity event ‘Santa Fun Run’ at Tokyo Bay Area on November 25th. We were very inspired by "Funderful" Santa Fun Run which is held by Variety in Australia every year. It was beautiful sunny day and 200 runners ran for the charity. The donation ¥400,000 from heartful runners was sent to the kids who are suffered from East Japan Earthquake and used for their essential needs.
In 2013, we held the seminar for disadvantaged kids on August 23rd. This event was held totally thanks to the corporation of YOKOHAMA RUBBER Co. and they kindly offered the place for the seminar. At the seminar, the kids had a good opportunity to meet ‘elders and betters’ who are also disadvantaged themselves. The kids got advice from the elders and the elders lectured the tips and manners to the kids for the time they start working and advance into society.
This year, 2014 is very meaningful year for us to celebrate 10th anniversary since the accession to the Variety International as Tent 83. We feel very honored to be the member of Variety and help for the kids in need all over the world. We’ve been kindly supported by many sponcors and volunteers for 10 years. We again promise that we will never stop acting for kids in need in Japan and never give up to discover possibilities of the kids.
Ask ten year old Nathan Garcia and he’ll tell you his heroes are his beloved Essendon Football Club players… but to those who know him, the real hero is Nathan himself.
Nathan was born with a life threatening congenital heart condition. For months, he battled for his life and miraculously survived. But he was then dealt another cruel blow when he was diagnosed with progressive infantile scoliosis, causing life threatening curvature of the spine.
Combined, these conditions affect Nathan’s heart function, ability to breathe, mobility and energy levels. That’s where Variety – the Children’s Charity of WA was proud to help by granting Nathan a new electric scooter.
The scooter has already given Nathan independence, a new found confidence and sense of adventure. Family outings are more frequent for the Garcia family and Nathan is able to participate in more activities with his two younger siblings.
“Variety has given Nathan his independence which translates into happiness,” said Nathan’s mother, Monique.
“And it’s not just Nathan – our whole family has benefitted from this gift, because we all now get to do things that were once restricted because of a lack of mobility,” she said.
Nathan’s story has inspired many, including his adopted team mates at the Bombers. On ANZAC day, the young supporter stood in the middle of the MCG to officially toss the coin – a moment that touched the hearts of those watching and that Nathan will never forget.
“Variety WA has given Nathan and our family quality of life. That is a gift I could neither afford for my son, nor can I ever repay to Variety,” Monique said.
While Christmas is a joyous time for most, for children who miss out on basic needs on a daily basis, a visit from Santa and a celebration with family and friends is something they can only dream about. That’s why each year Variety Victoria provides an event which gives thousands of children living with disadvantage or special needs the opportunity to experience the things at Christmas we all take for granted – a break from the stresses and strains of everyday life, unconditional acceptance, time with family and friends and a gift to unwrap.
From humble beginnings, the Variety Christmas Party is now in its 27th year and has welcomed over 100,000 children who are sick, disadvantaged or live with special needs. There is entertainment to suit everyone – from jumping castles and musical entertainment, gifts from Santa, carnival rides and discos for the energetic as well as face painting, a Variety Liberty Swing and interactive choices for those in wheelchairs and quiet activities for those who don’t care for the noise and excitement. For many children with special needs it is a day of normalisation amongst friends and peers. This is an event that provides a rare opportunity for special children to both celebrate and be celebrated.
It takes $200 to send a child to the Variety Children’s Christmas Party which is free of charge for our guests, more than 5000 children each year. The day is made possible by the spirit of the Variety family – over 1000 volunteers, carers, sponsors, celebrities, sport stars and emergency services get on board to make the day possible. At our largest and most visible grant each year, the looks of joy and wonderment on the children’s faces as they enjoy all that Christmas should be makes it all worthwhile.