Variety – the Children’s Charity of New Zealand levels the playing field for sick, disabled and disadvantaged Kiwi Kids July 30, 2014 11:27 PM - Variety International

Variety – the Children’s Charity of New Zealand fund a very broad range of requirements and have the ability to respond quickly, reaching children in need across the country. They remove barriers and promote inclusivity by developing all abilities playgrounds, initiating projects like the Variety Voices Youth Choir, and granting scholarships to develop and nurture children’s talents in sport, education and the arts. They work alongside schools, agencies and the government, tackling child poverty so the Kiwi kids who urgently need our life-changing assistance are set up to reach their full potential in life.

Money is raised through creating exciting events, compelling programs, and through the support of generous corporate sponsors and individual donors.

Whilst their focus is local, they are a part of an international organization which has a proud history that began on Christmas Eve 1928 in Pittsburgh, USA. A baby girl was left in the Sheridan theatre with a note pinned to her dress, “I can no longer take care of her. I have eight other children. My husband is out of work. She was born on Thanksgiving Day. I have always heard of the goodness of the show business people and pray to God that you will look after her.” It was signed “A broken-hearted mother”

When all efforts failed to locate her parents, a group of eleven gentlemen affiliated with the entertainment industry agreed to financially underwrite the child’s support and education…they named her Catherine Variety Sheridan.

In 1989 talent manager Karen Kay brought the Variety brand of sunshine to New Zealand, and so began the legacy. 85 years after Catherine was discovered in the theatre, her story continues to impact their work. In 2013, the Kiwi Kid Sponsorship was launched matching a sponsor with a local child who requires support to have their unmet health and educational needs fulfilled. Variety – the Children’s Charity of New Zealand is proud to continue the legacy left by Catherine and our colleagues, and believe that by working together we can help create brighter futures for disadvantaged Kiwi kids.

To learn more about Variety – the Children’s Charity of New Zealand, please visit

To read about 25 years of Variety – the Children’s Charity of New Zealand, Click here.

To learn more about the Kiwi Kids Sponsorship Program and meet a Kiwi kid sponsored child, Click here.