Just in time for Valentine’s day, British Columbia and Yukon’s chapter of the Variety – The Children’s Charity, held their annual Show of Hearts telethon on Sunday February 11th and they raised almost $5.5 million ($5,499,269) in 8 hours.

The money will help families with disabilities in British Columbia and Yukon with expenses that are not always covered by certain medical insurance plans (e.g., wheelchair accessible minivans, speech therapy, physical therapy adaptive equipment, enteral feeding supplies, travel costs, etc).

The British Columbia chapter of the Variety Club was established in 1966 and this year was their 52nd telethon.

The Sunday telethon kept TV viewers from channel surfing interspersing live entertainment with personal stories showing how the donations are being used. Entertainers included 12-Year-old Tyson Venegas, Singer/songwriter Mathew V, rock band The Matinée, and country band The James Barker Band.

Some of the personal stories included families struggling with autism, social communication disorder, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and cancer, who were in need of a variety of services not covered by their medical plan. Those families were able to get funding via Variety’s simple Grant Program available on their website.

To see some of the videos highlighting how Variety has helped those families, click the titles below.

Landon (Duchenne)
Sawyer & Ryker (autism)
Ainsley (low muscle tone)

Since 2010, this organization has spent over $30 million for families and organizations in British Columbia and the Yukon and they get those funds by hosting a variety of high profile events like the telethon as well as their upcoming ‘One Night in Havana’ gala in April.

People donate significantly to this program partially because the charity is well organized, well connected, and very open. But, it the organization also has a very good website that makes it easy for people making donations to see how the money is being used and for people needing assistance to apply for grants.

And if you are reading this and involved in a patient advocacy group that is not as successful as Variety you may want to ask yourself – Does your organization’s website make it easy for:

Donors to know where the money will be going?

Families to quickly get the information they really need to help them with their struggles?

Researchers to get the information they need about funding or disease information?

Doctors to know how to diagnose and treat the condition properly in each province?

If your answer is ‘no’, Zeal Access can help. Send us an email to jim@zealaccess.com to learn how we can transform your website.