St. Louis (August 12, 2020) Ameren has awarded Variety the Children’s Charity of St. Louis $200,000 to provide power wheelchairs and therapy for children with disabilities. This generous commitment will allow children with special needs the freedom of mobility and the continued help of vital therapy during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Variety provides children in the Missouri and Illinois communities we serve with extraordinary and life-changing freedom and independence through power wheelchairs and therapy," said Warner Baxter, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Ameren Corporation. "It is especially important during these challenging times that we continue to provide the tools and support that allow children to be healthy and safe.”
Ameren began their support of the Ameren Power Kids program in 2010. The program has since provided more than 100 power wheelchairs to children who need the added mobility of an electric wheelchair.
Power wheelchairs can cost an average of $50,000.
“Joe can go everywhere by himself in the power wheelchair,” says Allyson, Variety Teen Joe’s mom. “It also raises him up so that he is at eye level with everyone else.”
Therapy is important to the long-term health of children with special needs. Because many have lost access to their physical, occupational or speech therapists during the pandemic, they were facing potential health setbacks. So, Variety adapted its TherHappy Kids model to include access to telemedicine, and Ameren’s gift will help this program continue.
“Continuation of speech therapy is essential for Quentin’s long-term development,” says Variety mom Heather.
About Variety the Children’s Charity Variety envisions a world where abilities are redefined and opportunities are reimagined for kids with special needs. To make this a reality, Variety empowers children with physical and developmental disabilities by giving access to critical medical equipment and therapies, along with innovative Camp and Performing Arts programs, which provide opportunities for recreation, socialization, and artistic expression. Children gain or maintain independence, boost socialization among their friends and family, demonstrate belief in themselves, and increase skills they need to engage their world as fully as possible. www.varietystl.org