Impact

Theory of Change

Theory of Change Statement:  When young adults with disabilities have access to choices, and engage in individualized instruction and employment experiences, they will become self-confident, independent and better prepared for life.

The organization has a wealth of experience in serving youth and young adults with disabilities. The current direction for the agency is based on a 2017 Strategic Plan, a 2018 Master Facilities Plan, and a 2021 5-year VarietyWorks programmatic strategy plan. Through these processes, the organization’s leadership and Board acknowledged that the flagship –and “magnet” –program of Variety for decades has been its summer camp programs. Further, they committed to building and growing a signature workforce development model (VarietyWorks) that would meet a multitude of needs for youth with disabilities aging out of services, as well as to providing year-round services that could maximize the usage of its 77-acre campus.  

To be effective in its mission, Variety will focus on measuring outcomes for the following target population:

  • Children and young adults ages 14 to 24 with disabilities and who do not present or engage in behaviors that are a danger to themselves or others 

2021 Annual Report

I am proud to share our FY21 Annual Report with you. We are so grateful to all of our families, staff, volunteers, partners and funders who help us work toward our mission every day. This year was not without its challenges and we lost our dear friend and Development Director, Harry Giordano. Despite it all, Variety continues to adapt successfully. That’s been our mantra for 86 years!

Please click the image to the right to browse the pages of our Annual Report. We encourage you to learn more about Variety, and how you can make an impact on our organization. Please share our Annual Report with friends, family and colleagues who may be interested in our mission.

Dominique Bernardo, CEO

Join the Club!

Why Variety Feels Like Home

Our family first discovered Variety Club Camp for Children over a decade ago. My son Alex’s autism support teacher shared a notice about an Easter Egg Hunt at the camp for special needs kids, and being new to the area, we thought we’d go find out what was going on up at the sprawling estate in Worcester. Little did they know, we weren’t going to leave!

Since then, we’ve had Saturday sessions in the pool, Red Dawgs soccer and basketball on Fridays, holiday parties, trail runs, garden days, summer camp, football and baseball, and it’s all geared toward helping kids with differing abilities realize there’s nothing they can’t do.

Red Dawgs in particular is my favorite. Even after the longest week, watching the kids running all over the court or the pitch is still my idea of Happy Hour. I love to watch Kevin throwing himself across the goal to stop the ball, or Alex gently nudging people aside with “’Scuse me!” as he goes for a free-throw, or Eric and Alex S directing their teammates. Most of all I love knowing there are people like Coach Andy and all the parent volunteers who are willing to give up their free time to bring our kids together in a place where they can learn the value of teamwork and cooperation, and also work up a fun little sweat.

Whenever we’re at Variety, Alex feels like he belongs. It’s not just him. At Variety, I’ve found a “tribe” of parents with shared experiences. At camp or outside of it, we offer each other a helping hand, or a kind and caring word, or a little advice when someone’s lost and uncertain about how to navigate this sometimes confusing world of special needs issues. When we found Variety, we learned we’re not alone.

Every year we look forward to summer camp; Alex for the fun activities, and me for knowing he’ll be spending time with great friends in a safe, comfortable environment. The camp counselors look out for each child’s particular needs and issues, and they make sure they’re equipped to handle whatever comes their way. At Variety Summer Camp, I can drop Alex off trusting that he’s in the best possible hands.

One sunny afternoon ten years ago, I drove past the Variety sign on Valley Forge Road and thought, “Hmm, I wonder what’s up there?” The answer: home.