Variety Steps In Where Health Care Ends

Variety – the Children’s Charity provides direct help to children in BC and the Yukon with funding for:

  • Medical care and services
  • Mobility equipment and specialized therapies
  • Education and experiences

Current Grant Priority Areas

Moving into 2017, Variety – The Children’s Charity of BC is increasing its focus to be more efficient in serving as many children with special needs as possible, within the areas where our resources can help the most, and have the greatest possible impact;

Accordingly, Variety BC will be accepting grant applications for the equipment and services of greatest need to our families (with an annual household income of up to $65,000), including:

  • Specialized Therapies (e.g. Speech & language, occupational, physical, counselling)
  • Adaptive Equipment (e.g. Power and manual wheel chairs, adaptive trikes, hearing aids, standing walkers)
  • Custom Orthotics
  • Tutoring Bursaries for Learning Disabilities

Variety BC will be periodically reviewing its grant priority areas throughout the year. We encourage families to regularly check back for the latest updates on granting and eligibility criteria.

Eligibility Requirements

Variety helps children who meet the following criteria:

  1. Children from birth to their 19th birthday.
  2. B.C. or Yukon resident for a minimum of three months with a valid Health Care Card.
  3. Qualified special need (medical/developmental) as recognized by a designated professional.
  4. Financial circumstance that limits the ability to afford the item or service required (Variety is currently able to consider requests from households with an annual income of up to $65,000).

The Application Process

We’re here to help you every step of the way through our confidential application process.

To better serve your needs, Variety BC is currently updating our application system. While we undergo this process, all grant requests will temporarily be vetted via email. Please carefully follow the instructions below to ensure your request can be reviewed as soon as possible. We apologize for any inconvenience.

  1. Carefully review the eligibility criteria above, as well as our current grant priority areas.
  2. Click “Request an Application” at the top of the page. in the email body, please outline the details of your request, including the name and age of your child, diagnosis/special need, and the specifics of your grant request.
  3. If it is possible that we can meet your needs, we will send you an application.
  4. We will review you application and let you know the status.


How does Variety help?

Variety steps in where healthcare ends. Individual grants are designed to be flexible to allow you to apply for the items that best meet your child’s needs. As every child is unique, so is every application and each is reviewed on an individual basis. Variety aims to fill the gaps which are not covered by government programs, healthcare or private health plans. Sometimes, Variety tops up funding where another agency cannot fund the entire cost. An example would be a partial contribution towards vehicle modifications.

Who can apply for an Individual Grant?

Only families whose child meets all of the following criteria can be considered for an individual grant:

- Children from birth to their 19th birthday
- A child must be a B.C. resident with a valid Personal Health Number (PHN) or Yukon resident with a valid Health Care Card
- Qualified special need (medical and/or developmental) as confirmed by a designated health care professional
- Financial circumstance that limits the ability to afford the item or service required

What can I apply for?

Our current grant priority areas are:

- Therapies: Speech & Language, Occupational, Physical, Counselling
- Adaptive Equipment: Power and Manual wheel chairs, adaptive trikes, hearing aids, standing walkers
- Custom Orthotics
- Tutoring Bursaries for Learning Disabilities

What can’t I apply for?

Variety does not fund:

1. Services or equipment not directly related to a child’s special/extra needs and which are not deemed medically/developmentally necessary
2. Alternative or naturopathic treatments or those not provided in person including neuroplasticity or computer stimulation
3. Any program/service or equipment that can be or is paid wholly by government (including Autism, At Home, Early Intervention, Health Region, First Nations Health, BC Family Residence Program. Top up considered
4. Behavioral Intervention/Consultation or funding for Autism for children under six years old who receive over $22,000 per year funding
5. Funding for any services related to Autism for children under six years old who receive over $22,000 per year in government funding
6. Childcare, respite or related programs/services
7. Warranties, insurance, maintenance, service agreements, batteries, repairs
8. Administrative fees or operational costs
9. Vehicles - except: Sunshine Family Van program and Van conversions including van ramp and tie downs to a max. $7500.00
10. Medical services plans, premiums, deductibles
11. Apps or software for technology
12. Travel costs including: time, gas, mileage, truck or car rentals, parking or insurance
13. Sports equipment that is non-adaptive or not does not support special needs
14. Non B.C. or Yukon residents
15. Reports, consultations, assessments
16. Expenses that have already been initiated or have already occurred prior to submission or written approval
17. Incomplete application forms
18. Those without specific certification or professional credentials to deliver services to clients or the use of assistants
19. Children or Youth over 19 years old
20. A child without a personal health number (Care card)
21. More than two requests in one year over $5000.00 total
22. Children under six who qualify for early intervention or services through a Child Development Centre (CDC) or Health Authority (HA). (Top up considered)
23. Equipment from non-Canadian distributors that cannot be invoiced directly from Variety or services outside Canada

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To see more FAQ's

Need Assistance?

Together, with our donors, we support children with special needs and organizations who provide services to children in every corner of our province.

Dear Variety Family,

During the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) global situation, our highest priority is the health, safety and well-being of our Variety donors, families, members, supporters, volunteers and all British Columbians.

Variety BC has been here for more than 50 years ensuring kids with special needs thrive. I would like to assure you that during this uncertain time, we will continue to be here for BC’s kids with special needs.

I also would like to provide you with an update on our response to date and our commitment to you moving forward:

  • In keeping with the BC Centre for Disease Control’s recommendations, we will be postponing all Variety events between March 16th and April 30th including our One Night in the Valley Gala on Saturday, April 4th at the Glass House Estate Winery
  • We have closed the Variety Office as a precautionary measure and are having employees set up to work-from-home. All in-person meetings will be moved to teleconference. We will evaluate working “virtually” on a week-to-week basis while actively monitoring the evolution of this global pandemic and returning to regular operating procedures once health authorities deem it safe for our staff to do so.
  • Due to our office closure, we have postponed the shipping of Robert Bateman’s Woodworkers – Pilated Woodpeckers posters and our Variety water bottles. Anyone looking for tax receipts will receive them via email
  • With the closure of BC’s schools, the need to ensure our kids are supported has never been so great. As such, our Heart of Variety Fund will continue to accept grant accept applications by e-mail.
    Like all of you, we will monitor the COVID-19 situation and communicate with you on important health and safety measures and decisions regarding events regularly.

We encourage you to stay informed by visiting BC Centre for Disease Control’s website at and the Government of Canada’s website at

We are grateful for your support as we navigate through this uncertain time.

Thank you,

Cally Wesson
CEO – Variety BC