Charlie

Meet Charlie, a rad 9-year-old from Port Coquitlam interested in anything to do with pop culture, music, reading, writing and drawing his own comics. Charlie is also fond of comedy and telling jokes; he even performed a stand-up comedy set in front of his school last Christmas! His mom says he has new favorite comedian every couple of months.

Charlie is hard of hearing and was born with bilateral hearing loss. He wears hearing aids full-time. The aids are also paired to an FM system at school, an additional adaptive listening system that helps him hear better in the classroom. Last year he required two new hearing aids as the ones he had were too weak to meet his needs.

Without amplification, Charlie is unable to hear conversational level speech clearly even if the speaker is close and there is no background noise. If the speaker is at a distance and when there is background noise, both of which would occur in an average classroom, most social setting and sports activities, Charlie would not be able to hear speech and many environmental sounds. Variety was able to step in and, thanks to our donors, fund Charlie’s new hearing aids.

Charlie has an army of incredible and caring individuals behind him that are huge part of his success as a hard of hearing child. Whether it’s the staff at his school, his audiologist, or the team of hearing resource teachers that put on several events a year for kids with hearing loss, Charlie has a community of support behind him every step of the way, and Variety is happy to be a part of that community!

“Charlie, Sienna (his sister and another recipient of Variety Club) and myself are all hard of hearing. It is very expensive to supply all of our ears and I am a single mom. It was a gift of hearing that we are deeply grateful for. There really are no words that can truly describe the relief that I have knowing my children have the aids that they need.” – Jami, Charlie’s Mom.
Picture of Charlie and his family

Back row from left to right: Benjamin, Jami, Mackenzie Front: Charlie and Sienna

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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 www.bccdc.ca and the Government of Canada’s website at www.canada.ca/en/publichealth/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19

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

Thank you,


Cally Wesson
CEO – Variety BC