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Variety - the Children's Charity of the Desert

Enriching the lives of children who are facing the challenge of disadvantage or living with special needs.

aka Variety - the Children's Charity of the Desert   |   Palm Desert, CA   |  www.varietyofthedesert.org

Mission

Variety - the Children’s Charity of the Desert is dedicated to promoting the health, mobility, independence, and social inclusion of children who are at risk, underprivileged, critically ill, or living with special needs throughout the Coachella Valley. 

Ruling year info

1988

Executive Director

Heidi Maldoon

Main address

42600 Cook Street Suite 150

Palm Desert, CA 92211 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

33-0278817

NTEE code info

Children's and Youth Services (P30)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

We aim to enrich the lives of children who are facing the challenge of disadvantage or living with special needs throughout the Coachella Valley.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Care Program

Variety’s CARE Program delivers critical LIFE-SAVING medical equipment and services, healthcare and well-being to individual children and children’s health organizations.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Variety’s FREEDOM Program delivers vital LIFE-CHANGING
equipment and services for mobility, independence and
social inclusion to individual children and children’s organizations.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Variety’s FUTURE Program delivers crucial LIFE-ENRICHING
communication equipment and services, education and
self-esteem to individual children and children’s organizations.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards 2023

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of children screened.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Care Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

In the pilot year of Caring Connections, 42 children received at least one screening.

Number of mobility devices (adaptive equipment and bicycles) distributed.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Freedom Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

311 children received mobility equipment including standard bicycles, adaptive bicycles, adaptive strollers, and more.

Number of groups/individuals benefiting from tools/resources/education materials provided

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Care Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

820 individuals received educational materials, resources about developmental milestones, available resources, and additional health information.

Number of children and parents/guardians participating in classes and workshops.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Future Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

59 individuals took part in an activity, workshop, class, or other event.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Variety – the Children’s Charity of the Desert was established in 1987 to bring the profound purpose of Variety International (with 40 offices in 14 countries) to Riverside County: To continue meeting the multiple unmet needs of children who are sick, disadvantaged, or live with disabilities, making a life-long positive impact on children throughout the Coachella Valley.

Our mission is to promote and protect the health and well-being of children who are underprivileged and/or have special needs in the Coachella Valley. We provide essential community services exclusively to low-income children who would otherwise not have access to services and support that help them obtain vital medical assistance, afterschool enrichment, and recreational activities.

Freedom Program delivers vital life-changing equipment and services for mobility, independence, and social inclusion for children. Adaptive bicycles, specialized strollers, wheelchairs, and other mobility aids are provided to children with special needs. Bicycles are distributed to at-risk, underprivileged students in area school districts. Vans transport children to after school programs, medical appointments, and treatments.

Future Program delivers crucial life-enriching services, education, and self-esteem to children. Socially inclusive experiences for children with special needs such as sensory friendly activities, holiday celebrations, art and music classes, and more.

Care Program delivers critical life-saving medical equipment and services, healthcare, and well-being to children. Caring Connections, helps families to support their child’s growth and health through developmental screenings from birth to age 5.

Established in 1987, Variety - the Children’s Charity of the Desert is dedicated to promoting the health, mobility, independence, and social inclusion of children who are at-risk, underprivileged, critically ill, or living with special needs throughout the Coachella Valley.

The organization is led by dedicated business leaders and professionals who actively serve as a Board of Directors. Each Board Member is an ambassador to the community, sharing about Variety and encouraging community involvement in order to increase Variety's impact.

For 35 years, we have touched the lives of over 100,000 local children through the provision of vital medical assistance, literacy programs, and recreational activities.

Each year, we serve approximately 4,800 deserving children and their families through our activities, including through transportation by organizations participating in our Sunshine Coach Program, children receiving adaptive mobility bikes and strollers, fourth-graders accepting bicycles and helmets, and children with special needs participating in socially inclusive events and experiences.

Variety serves children up to age 18 who are disadvantaged or have a diagnosed or demonstrated physical disability, including, but not limited to, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, muscular dystrophy, and Down syndrome. So, while the children we support and the ways we help are many, our goal remains the same — help these children to do what they should be free to do best — be children. We serve children via special programs that seek long-term impact.

Each of our programs - Freedom, Future, and Care - are expanding to meet the current and changing needs of the Coachella Valley children and families.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We act on the feedback we receive

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, The people we serve tell us they find data collection burdensome

Financials

Variety - the Children's Charity of the Desert
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Variety - the Children's Charity of the Desert

Board of directors
as of 01/26/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Steve Haro

Retired - Trader Joe's

Term: 2026 - 2024

Marc Lodovico

Vicky's of Santa Fe

Barbara Klein

Retired

Jerry Upham

KESQ Channel 3

Patrick Somers

The General A/C

Patrick Evans

KESQ Channel 3

Penny Salamida

Cypress Wealth Services

Jacky Donell

Elmer's Restaurant

Cory Ornstein

FirstBank

Jorge Castenaira

Move Happy

Mary Lockrem

Marker Broadcasting

Bob Schneider

Retired Red Jeep Tours

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes