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About Variety - the Children's Charity

Variety - the Children's Charity is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of children in Iowa who are underprivileged, at-risk, critically ill or living with special needs. Variety makes a better future for our community by connecting people who care to programs that enable children to reach their full potential. Read our Community Impact Piece to learn more about Variety's work. 

Our Programs

  • Grants – Granting funds to children's organizations throughout Iowa on an annual basis. 

  • Mobility – Awarding traditional bikes and specialized mobility equipment to children. 

  • Variety Vans – Providing children's organizations with vans to assist with programming needs.

  • Variety Star Playgrounds – Building inclusive playgrounds in Iowa communities for children of all abilities to enjoy. 

  • The Compassion Fund – Fulfilling the immediate needs of families with children who are critically ill. 

About the Variety Telethon

In 1975, four businessmen came up with a plan to raise dollars to help children. Stanley J. Reynolds, Steve Blank, Ray Johnson and Mike Reilly created a locally produced Telethon to rally support around children’s needs in the community. This first annual Telethon aired that year and raised $151,000 to provide medical equipment to a local hospital.

Since then, Iowans have joined together annually to contribute their time, talent and hearts to Telethon. For 46 years, Telethon hosted a line-up of local and international celebrities who appeared on-air, along with thousands of corporate volunteers and donors who pledged their ongoing time and support to Iowa’s children.

Now, Telethon has transformed into a televised multi-million dollar fundraiser that highlights the many ways Variety helps children. Variety VIPs (Very Interested Persons who individually raise funds for Variety) raise over $1 million of the annual total raised. This truly showcases the dedication of our volunteers who are committed to helping Iowa’s children.


How can I get started? 

To register for this event, click the Register Now! button to get started. Once you are registered, you will have your own personal fundraising page to help you with your fundraising efforts as well as to track your progress. 

To donate to this event, click the Donate to this Event button, or search for a participant in the search box in the upper right-hand corner of your screen. Thank you for helping us improve kids' lives this year!