Please take a few minutes out of your day either today or tomorrow between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Listen to our on-air friends at The Wolf @ 97FM and 94X, then call 310-3000 to make a donation to the Variety Club as part of the annual Variety Children's Radiothon in Prince George.
Variety is an incredible charity that comes to the aid of children in need and their families, helping them through difficult health situations with timely donations to pay for needed services.
The name Variety makes perfect sense because the charity has various methods to provide assistance.
Variety has covered everything from airline flights to parking fees for northern parents desperate to stay close to a child who is a patient at B.C. Children's Hospital in Vancouver for an extended stay. Variety has also helped local families cover the additional costs of advanced treatment, everything from speech pathology to specialized equipment.
Last year, Variety helped about 1,300 families across B.C. pay for those extra costs.
Those are just the little things behind the scenes that Variety has done to help area parents who are frightened about the health of a child and stressed about paying the bills.
Variety has been a major contributor to the Child Development Centre in Prince George for various programs and equipment upgrades, as well as the pediatric ward at University Hospital of Northern B.C. (working with the Spirit of the North Health Care Foundation).
Variety is widely known for its more prominent work, particularly with B.C. Children's Hospital, Canuck Place and Ronald McDonald House. The children's charity is most visible with its 550 vans around the province, specially equipped to transport all children, regardless of their illness or disability, to where they need to be to receive therapy, recreation and education.
Since 1965, Variety has raised more than $170 million in B.C. and every dime of that money has stayed in B.C. This is the eighth radiothon in Prince George and last year $45,000 was raised. That money is kept in a Prince George pot to help Prince George families.
That's important for many people, who believe charity begins at home. Chances are you either know someone or know someone who knows someone who has been helped by Variety.
Many of those people will tell their stories on The Wolf during the two-day radiothon. These will be local people, some of them prominent residents well known to regular readers of this newspaper, who have been given assistance at the moment they needed it most.
Children are supposed to be healthy and happy, so parents are never prepared for the shock of their child needing serious health care, perhaps permanently. Variety realizes that kids get better faster when their parents are close by and in the right mental state to support their child's recovery. Variety's generosity helps remove some of those stresses for parents.
No one wakes up in the morning thinking they might need help from a charity to get through the day. It comes so suddenly and unexpected that it leaves parents in shock, wondering what to do and how to cope. Variety takes some of the sting off, through its financial assistance but also by being there. Everyone who has ever been helped by Variety has deeply appreciated not only the monetary help but the emotional support.
A helping hand from Variety is a helping hand from the community.
But don't take our word for it. Listen to the stories on the radio over the next two days from the various local residents who have received Variety's help.
You will be moved.
So please give.
You're paying yourself, your family, your friends, your neighbours and your community in the process.
Pray you don't ever need their help but know that if you do one day, Variety will be there.
-- Managing editor Neil Godbout