Annual Appeal 2020 has been a year like no other in terms of challenges placed on our families and our organization as a whole. Many nonprofits specializing in serving individuals with special needs simply ceased to operate as COVID took hold, but not Variety. In fact, when the shutdown occurred, Variety mobilized; not only to provide virtual support for our community, but also to prepare for on-site programming beginning July 2020. As a result, our programs were one of the only in-person choices available for extended school year classes, summer camp experiences, and vocational training. Variety’s core mission is to never give up on the potential of our community – and this past year, we demonstrated why we are the gold standard. This summer, 10-year-old Eli participated in his fourth Extended School Year program at Variety. Eli is nonverbal and on the autism spectrum. Eli’s mom shared that, during the shutdown, Eli lost his ability to perform his morning routine. She registered him for on-site summer programming because “it was important to try to get him back into a routine and gain back some of the skills he lost, and learn how to function in the community again.” Eli had a wonderful summer at Variety and his mom noted “with COVID this year, it was super heartwarming that the staff knew Eli; and even with all of this craziness, that they served my son – it meant more to me than I can tell you.” One of our taglines is “Variety Kids Can” – and we have proven it to be true even during a pandemic. Help us serve more children like Eli in our educational programs, and support young adults with disabilities seeking employment, like Alexis in the below story. MAKE YOUR ANNUAL APPEAL DONATION HERE.