One of the oldest children’s charities in the world!


Variety provides life-enriching assistance to children challenged by physical and/or mental disabilities, poverty, abuse and neglect.


With over a seven-decade legacy of caring for children across the globe, Variety – The Children’s Charity has become the largest and most effective children’s charity in the world.  The organization has grown to 52 chapters in 14 countries, raising over $1 billion to assist with the treatment and care for disabled and disadvantaged children.

Long considered “The Heart of Show Business,” Variety finds its roots in the Entertainment Industry.  The Variety Club, established in 1927 by eleven Vaudeville showmen, still exists today for one reason to help children in need.


On Christmas Eve in 1927, an abandoned baby girl was found in the Sheridan Theatre in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. A note pinned to her dress said that her name was Catherine, and her parents, unemployed, with eight other mouths to feed, could not take care of her. Signed, “A Heartbroken Mother” the note concluded, “I have always heard of the goodness of show business people and pray that you will take care of her.”

And the heart of show business did just that. Unable to locate the parents, The Variety Club, formed as a social club by eleven men in show business, decided to underwrite the child’s support and education. They named her Catherine Variety Sheridan, and she became the first of millions of children around the world who have been touched through the efforts of Variety.

The first Variety event was a circus for children, which took place under an enclosed tent and established the theme for the organization. Each local chapter became a “Tent,” beginning with Pittsburgh as Variety Tent #1, and continuing as additional Tents have been established around the world. Memphis became Tent 20 in 1938, eleven years later.

Today, there are 52 Variety Tents in 14 countries around the world. In addition, the Presidents of each Tent are known affectionately as “Chief Barkers, “an old theatre/circus term.  All of the money raised by each Tent stays in the community and supports the programs and facilities that benefit the children in and around that city.

The Variety creed, “Never say no to a child in need,” unites members, contributors and volunteers in a concerted effort to meet the needs of our children through fundraising events, activities and programs, which substantially strengthen the achievements of the Tent by generating awareness of the organization and the significance of our presence in the Mid-South area.

We continue to cultivate new leaders within our organization and new relationships throughout the Memphis Metropolitan area. A critical element in achieving success is attributed to the generosity of our community, business support through fundraising, donations and participating in our events:

We invite you to join us in this endeavor and thank you for your interest in helping children.