Our Vision

An Aotearoa New Zealand where all children and young people can realise their hopes and dreams

Our Purpose

Enabling children and young people to thrive in Aotearoa New Zealand.



Variety was founded as a social club in 1927 by a group of 11 entertainers in Pittsburgh, USA. On Christmas Eve 1928, a one-month-old baby girl was found abandoned on a seat in the Sheridan Theatre.

A note was pinned to her dress which said:

"Please take care of my baby. Her name is Catherine. I can no longer take care of her. I have eight other children. My husband is out of work. She was born on Thanksgiving Day. I have always heard of the goodness of show-business people and pray to God that you will look after her."” It was signed, 'A Broken Hearted Mother.' The 11 friends decided to underwrite the support and education costs of the baby.

Publicity surrounding Catherine and her benefactors attracted so much support from both the show business industry and the general public that following her adoption at the age of five, the Variety Club decided to actively raise funds in the cause of children in need.

Their efforts established Variety as “the Children’s Charity”.



Every child has a right to a happy, healthy childhood filled with opportunities to explore, grow and learn.

For more than 30 years, Variety has been helping children and young people to thrive in New Zealand. Over time, how we have delivered this support has evolved to meet the changing needs of children and whānau.

In 2013, Variety introduced Kiwi Kid Sponsorship, giving New Zealanders the opportunity to sponsor an individual child in need. Nearly ten years later, Variety’s Kiwi Kid Sponsorship programme remains the only one of its kind in New Zealand.

Currently there are more than 7,000 children on the programme. In addition, we support around 1,000 children every year with Individual Grants for special items, such as mobility devices and learning aids.

Variety offers tailored and flexible support to New Zealand children and whānau living in poverty. We understand this will look different for every child and will be influenced by their individual circumstances and needs, their unique talents, hopes and dreams.

Variety focuses on improving the health, education and wellbeing of children and young people experiencing financial hardship, sickness and disability. We work alongside schools, community agencies, social workers, and healthcare professionals to identify Kiwi kids in need. All funds raised here, stay in Aotearoa New Zealand for the benefit of children.

You can change the lives of Kiwi kids today.



Keep updated with the latest Variety news, events and hero stories.

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