Williamsport, Pa. - Though the pandemic has hit the brakes on daily life, "Variety," the children's charity, has kept moving at a record pace to help kids with disabilities, collecting over 1,000 pieces of equipment during the pandemic.
With extraordinary community partners like BLaST Intermediate Unit 17, which serves Bradford, Lycoming, Sullivan, and Tioga Counties and Blackburn’s, Variety's equipment provider, the charity has given free adaptive gear to nearly 50 local kids.
On Tuesday, April 20, Variety will continue to support local kids by presenting four adaptive bikes and 13 adaptive strollers at BLaST Intermediate Unit 17.
“Tuesday is going to be a really exciting day as Variety presents life-changing equipment to local kids, and it’s all given for free! Including next Tuesday’s distribution, Variety will have presented more than 60 adaptive bikes, adaptive strollers, and communication devices to kids in Bradford, Lycoming, Sullivan, and Tioga Counties (worth nearly $1000,000)! That’s a huge accomplishment and the community should feel so proud! We hope to make a big push to give even more kids their own bikes, strollers, and devices,” said Variety’s CEO Charlie LaVallee.
At noon, a child named Arabella will receive a new adaptive stroller; she also received an adaptive bike from Variety last August.
When Arabella received her new bike, her dad, Doug was overcome with joy. He said: “This is awesome, this is the best day of my life right now, absolutely. THE BEST DAY OF MY LIFE. This is going to raise Arabella’s spirits so high. This little girl is going to feel like she is part of everybody else. When we wanted to go for bike rides, she would have to ride in the buggy. Now she can ride her bike.”
Another child, Titus, will receive both an adaptive bike and a stroller; it will be a big day for he and his family.
His mom, Anna, commented, “An adaptive bike will allow Titus the opportunity to do something he has never done before, such as be on a bicycle. He will love the ability to be outside more with his family.”
Variety accepts applications year-round from eligible individuals aged three through 21 for its three programs: My Bike, which provides Rifton adaptive bikes; My Stroller, which provides Kid Kart Might Lite adaptive strollers; and My Voice, which provides communication devices (currently in the form of an iPad with a prescribed communication app).
Families can apply to one, two, or all three programs if they are eligible and their child could benefit, and all equipment is free for those who qualify. Interested families can visit Variety Pittsburgh to learn more/apply or call the Variety office directly at (724) 933-0460.