Below are a few stories of why Variety Iowa strives so hard to make children succeed in this world.
We are honored to be a part of your life every day.
"My mother had 2 babies at the time, and I was 15. Her husband had just died, so I knew that she was feeling the loss as well, but overwhelming her with my emotions was not something I wanted to do. She had been through, and was going through, quite a bit at the time. I knew her heart was hurting, and so was mine, but she had so much other stuff to deal with. She then had to work full time to support us, on top of having two babies. Needless to say my communication with my mother was, well, negligible. I became secluded, emotionless almost, because I refused to put my emotions off onto her. THEN we found Amanda the Panda! I was able to go to camp with other children, although I was one of the oldest, I was put with other children my same age.
I was able to relate to people again, there were people going through the same things. Immediately my walls broke down, I cried, I screamed, I laughed, and I played with other people who felt just like I did. I was no longer the 'odd' one out. My mother and I were able to talk about how we felt, and discuss our concerns with the other. Even if that had nothing to do with my dad passing. A teenager's communications with their parents are not the best thing even without a traumatic event happening.
I am now 23, a widow, a mother, and a student. I am currently studying for my MBA in counseling, majoring in grief services. Yes, you are a camp, where kids that have gone through a loss and adults can meet each other and have a good time, but there is really so much more involved. At 15 years old, I was able to talk about my emotions related to a death. That is HUGE! Most adults can't do that. I was able to put my feelings into words after going to your camp. I was taught tools to help me if I couldn't put my feelings into words. I was showed that life does not stop because someone passed away. It may feel as if the time goes slower, but the wonderfulness around us keeps happening."
Now, as an adult I was able to process the death of my husband. I was able to find my career path and my passion. I am now able to help other families work through their own traumatic events. I have the patience and the understanding to work with children going through what I went through. I still have a remarkable relationship with my mother.
I was taught how to process all of my emotions. Not just those about a death! Yes, that is what the camp is for, however that is not all of the impact you had. You helped secure my future, who I am as an adult and who I want to be. Would I be the person I am now without your impact years ago? No. No way! I am kind, sincere, understanding, all of these things YOU helped me with!""
We have a variety of programs at RTC, all requiring a great deal of transportation. Our boys in residential treatment are transported to weekly home visits, court hearings, school, medical appointments, and recreational activities. Our boys in our community based programs are transported from home to school and back home at night after school and treatment services are done for the day. We serve boys from all four corners of the state, therefore safe, reliable transportation is a core component of our services.
Variety, the children's charity, has been a wonderful source of support through their Variety van grants program. Over the past 13 years, RTC has received 3 Variety vans that provide safe transportation for our boys. We received our most recent van this year! We have logged literally hundreds of thousands of miles making sure boys family, medical and educational needs are met. We can honestly say that without the support of Variety, there would be a large gap in our services, which would impact the quality of life for hundreds of Iowa kids and their families.
On behalf of our staff and most importantly the youth we serve, I thank Variety for their support and helping us help those in need!
Brad L. Klug MSW, CEO
Rabiner Treatment Center"
Best regards, Ann Wolf
"Dear Variety - The Children's Charity,
No one but us knows how much this camp means to most of us. We're such a family here at camp. No one makes fun of anyone and we all help each other out. Just the other day we were all huddled in the basement waiting for a storm to pass and everyone was singing trying to keep others happy. There were people walking around taking water bottles and filling them up. We were sleeping on stranger's shoulders and staff were running here and there to get food for those who bolused (sic-shot insulin into their system). That just goes to show that we care about each other more than anything. We've all made some of our best friends here.
Thanks. Sincerely, Carli""