Variety Telethon

Since 1975, Iowans have joined together to contribute their time, talent, and hearts to the annual Variety Telethon. It is the foundation Variety - the Children's Charity of Iowa was built upon and is the highlight of each year. For 46 years, the Variety Telethon hosted a line-up of local and international celebrities who appeared on-air, along with thousands of corporate volunteers and donors who pledged their ongoing time and support to Iowa’s children.


Since then, the Variety Telethon has evolved into a shorter, televised multi-million-dollar fundraiser that still highlights the many ways Variety helps Iowa’s children. Variety VIPs (Very Interested Persons) and corporate supporters will continue to raise funds that will support Variety's five programs:

  • Grant Program – Variety awards funding to children’s nonprofits annually. In 2022, Variety granted $2.1 million to 63 nonprofits.
  • Mobility – In 2022 Variety provided over 100 custom pieces of mobility equipment to children with special needs and awarded over 500 traditional bikes to underprivileged children.
  • Variety Vans – Over the last 40 years, more than 400 Variety Vans have been granted to children’s nonprofits in Iowa.
  • Variety Star Playgrounds – Variety helps build inclusive playgrounds for children of all abilities.
  • The Compassion Fund – Variety fulfills the immediate needs of families with children who are critically ill.


In 2022, thanks to the generous financial support of our many donors and sponsors, Variety was able to grant more than $2.1 million to 63 different nonprofit programs and present over 100 pieces of specialized mobility equipment. To date, Variety has built 3 inclusive playgrounds and supported many others. Every dollar makes a difference, and with your help, we can continue to provide Iowa's children hope, opportunity, and smiles. 


Watch the 49th Annual Telethon Spotlight

Donate Today
49th Annual Telethon Donate Now
Two little boys smiling with the word HOPE
Little girl sitting with teddy bears with the word OPPORTUNITY
Little girl in a wheelchair with the word SMILES