Variety the Children's Charity

Variety the Children’s Charity gives 5,000th piece of adaptive equipment to a local child

Photo above of Rylie with her new bike courtesy of KDKA.

A huge milestone happened this week in helping local kids just be kids: Variety the Children’s Charity gave out its 5,000th piece of adaptive equipment to a local child with special needs.

Rylie Jenkins from Sewickley got a pink bike for her 11th birthday. She and local leaders rode in a parade inside at PNC Park on Wednesday as part of the celebration. Participants included former PA governor Tom Corbett, County Executive Rich Fitzgerand, Highmark’s Deb Rice-Johnson, PNC’s Andrea Carelli and the Pirates’ Travis Williams.

These adaptive bikes and strollers give kids the freedom to ride, play and experience life like other kids.

“It means I can do what other kids can do, and I’m proving to myself that I can do it,” Rylie said when receiving her bike.

The children who receive this equipment “get to fit in, not feel left out anymore, which if we think about it, isn’t that feeling of being included and belonging critical? So it is life changing,” said Charles LaVallee, CEO of Variety the Children’s Charity.

Variety also gives out adaptive speaking devices for kids who have challenges speaking. KDKA’s Kristine Sorensen did a Kidsburgh story about Tyler Winfield from Westmoreland County who has autism and was non-verbal. He got one, and a year later when she returned to see how he was using the device, Tyler had learned to speak on his own.

If you know someone who would like an adaptive bike, stroller or speaking device, Variety is seeking kids for these free devices. Click here for details because many more people qualify than may realize.