Start Your Journey to
Becoming a Variety Family

If you live in the St. Louis area and have a child with
a medically diagnosed physical or developmental
disability, we want to help you!

Empowering Children and Teens in the Greater St. Louis Region

Variety St. Louis serves children and teens with disabilities under the age of 21, and their families, living in the 30 Missouri and Illinois counties surrounding St. Louis. Through various programs and services, we empower Variety Kids to establish independence, build confidence, improve socialization with family and friends, and learn new skills.

When you become a Variety Family, you join a network of children with disabilities and their loved ones from across the region. Even if you don’t need financial assistance right now, you can still apply to be a part of our family.

Become a Variety Family

If you have a child with a disability, we encourage you to apply to be a Variety Family today. Once you are approved, you will be added to our exclusive Variety Family email list, and will receive notification of free events, registrations for Camp, auditions for our Performing Arts program – and more – sent straight to your inbox. You do not need to demonstrate financial need to apply.

Need Financial Assistance with Equipment or Therapy?

For those seeking funding for durable medical equipment and/or therapy services for their child with a disability, you can apply by filling out a more detailed application that includes a demonstration of financial need. If you have questions or have previously received financial assistance from Variety, please reach out to Julie Thompkins at regarding equipment or Mo Taylor at regarding therapy.

How Variety’s Programs Work


Variety Kids must be under the age of 21 and living in the Greater St. Louis region (the 30 counties we serve in Missouri and Illinois are shown in the map above).

Variety provides financial assistance with medical equipment and therapy services, but is unfortunately not able to help with evaluations, doctor fees, hospital fees, eyeglasses, TES units, diapers, food (for tube feedings), respirators or modifications to the home (inside or outside, i.e. lifts, ramps).

In addition, Variety provides enrichment programs to all children falling within these guidelines, regardless of financial need. These programs include Recreation (Adventure Camp and social groups) and Performing Arts (Variety Theatre, Variety Children’s Chorus, and Variety Dance).

Procedure for Enrichment Programs

1. If you do not need financial assistance at this time, you can apply to become a Variety Family and be notified of registrations for various free events, Camp, Performing Arts auditions, and more using this application.

2. Once approved, you will be added to the exclusive Variety Family email list and will receive notifications sent straight to your inbox.

3. During open registrations for programs such as Camp, Variety Theatre, and more, you do NOT need to fill out this application in addition to the application for that program, whether you are a new or an existing family.

Procedure for Requesting Financial Assistance 

To request assistance with medical equipment and/or therapy services, the parent or guardian of the child with a disability must fill out this application form.

A copy of the most recent federal income tax return (1040) must be submitted with the application. To ensure services for those who need it most, Variety’s equipment and therapy programs serve families with an adjusted gross income of less than $85,000.

Each application is reviewed on an individual basis – during the COVID-19 pandemic, Variety is considering applications from families with a higher adjusted gross income if special circumstances, such as a loss of income, apply.

Requests for DME are submitted to the insurance company and Variety then pays what is denied by insurance.

If total amount is denied, Variety will pay the entire amount.

Variety will pay for equipment for a child on Medicaid (i.e. bath chairs, car seats and wheelchair trays) if Medicaid denies request.

If the child has no insurance or no DME clause in his or her insurance policy, Variety will pay in full.

For each piece of equipment Variety purchases, or therapy services Variety covers, a prescription, letter of necessity and estimate of cost are required.

Through the TherHappy Kids program, Variety will cover up to three therapy visits per month, per Variety Kid.

Emerson Resource Center

The Emerson Resource Center gives parents of children with disabilities the ability to communicate directly with advocates who can connect them to help with housing, transportation, education, recreation, funding, and other support. This referral service is supported by books in addition to connections to service providers.

The life of a parent of a special needs child is always changing and Variety has really shown us that you all are in this with us

Sarah, Variety Kid Will’s Mom