ArtForce Iowa received a grant from Variety to support its ArtForce at Home project, which was created during the COVID-19 pandemic to allow youth to continue creating art at home during a period of social distancing and isolation. With the grant provided by Variety, ArtForce Iowa has been able to deliver over 180 art kits to youth in central Iowa.
"This grant allows us to continue to provide artful care packages for young people during a time of heightened anxiety and fear. Having an arts community and opportunities to make art is a wonderful way to regulate and build resilience. Without this grant, we would have a harder opportunity to give robust art supplies to young people in Iowa who are overcoming adversity." – Christine Her, executive director of ArtForce Iowa– ArtForce Iowa
Variety granted funds to Gigi's Playhouse to expand its wellness program, GigiFIT, to include children, teens and adults. Funding from Variety has allowed Gigi's Playhouse to serve 250% more clients in fitness and to expand its therapy options to address lifelong health challenges for those living with Down syndrome.
“[My daughter] has had a blast working on her GIGiFIT goals. It has been so inspiring to watch her build strength and endurance. I have seen improvement in her balance, coordination, and most importantly – her confidence. By introducing GiGiFIT purposeful exercise as fun and play, it has fostered a positive attitude that will benefit [her] in the future. I’m excited to continue to watch [her] progress through the program.” – Parent of a child in the GigiFIT program– Gigi's Playhouse
Variety granted funds to Hills & Dales to provide outdoor sensory and play equipment for children at both the Childcare Center and the Residential Center. The items were intentionally selected to benefit children who seek sensory experiences, such as touching or feeling, hearing new and musical sounds and viewing bright visual items.
"Hills & Dales is very grateful for the continued support of Variety - the Children's Charity. These items will be a great addition to the resources we already had available for both clients and residents, providing both outdoor engagement and entertainment." – Marilyn Althoff, CEO of Hills & Dales– Hills & Dales
Iowa Homeless Youth Center works to eliminate homelessness among children, youth and young families in central Iowa. Variety gifted Iowa Homeless Youth Center a new van which will be utilized daily to assist youth as they move into a new apartment, connect youth living on the streets to services and provide transportation as needed.
Iowa Homeless Youth Center helps youth like Thomas, who grew up in an unsafe environment and became homeless shortly after graduating high school. Advocates helped him find permanent housing, and with the new van provided by Variety, Iowa Homeless Youth Center was able to help him move into his first apartment.– Iowa Homeless Youth Center
Jewels Academy is an organization that provides young women with the resources to succeed in STEM within an encouraging environment. Variety granted funds to Jewels Academy to obtain software licenses that will allow students to learn to code in three different languages and to create applications and expand their digital literacy skills.
Of the students who participate in the program, 100% graduate from high school, 89% attend college and 75% purse STEM-related studies in grad school.– Jewels Academy