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NEWS RELEASE · 25th January 2013
Variety Children's Charity
6-Year-Old Kitimat Girl Donates Birthday Presents To Variety
Over $700 Raised for Children’s Charity

Most little girls who are planning their birthday parties like to think about what sort of theme they will have, who they will invite, and the gifts they hope to receive. But for six-year-old Olivia of Kitimat, all she could think about was helping her little friend Levi.

Levi was born with a rare genetic disorder that causes spasms in his larynx, making it impossible to coordinate breathing and swallowing. As an infant, he would choke when nursing and needed emergency surgery to insert a feeding tube in his stomach. Without the tube, Levi was at risk of starving to death.

Flying from Kitimat to hospital in Vancouver was a daunting prospect for Levi’s family, but they had no choice. However, with help from Variety – The Children’s Charity, who paid for travel and accommodation, as well as expensive medications for Levi, the family was able to breathe a little easier.

Olivia was so impressed by the help that Levi received, she decided she wanted to give back. So instead of asking for gifts from her friends for her birthday, she encouraged them all to make a donation to Variety.

Olivia’s mom Kate explains how the whole thing came about: “Olivia and I talked about how blessed we are in our health and how there are many children who are ill and need extra support. This conversation encouraged Olivia to think of how she could help, and she came up with the idea of donating her birthday presents to Variety.”

Kate rented a room at the Riverlodge, the perfect location to host Olivia’s “dancing party”. Twenty-two guests were treated to games, dancing and an air-guitar contest using their own cardboard creations. Olivia’s older cousin Brodie and friend Brylee acted as DJs, and the kids “rocked their guitars like stars”.

In total, $767.00 was raised, which will have an enormous impact helping more families in Kitimat.

Kate says that although the family regularly volunteers in their community, this is Olivia’s first foray into fundraising: “Olivia is definitely thinking of areas she can help others, so we’ll approach this on a year-by-year basis. But this one was for Levi!”

And if there’s one thing that Kate and Olivia would like others to know about Variety, it’s this: “Variety offers support to children and their families where basic and extended medical services may not be enough. They are there to help in so many important ways, like in Levi’s case, bringing a family together during a long hospitalization.”

If you would like to fundraise for Variety to help other families in need, please visit and navigate to Events For Variety (E4Vs), or call toll free in BC 310-KIDS (5437)

Tune in to Global BC February 16th & 17th for the Variety Show of Hearts Telethon to learn more about how Variety helps children all over BC.
So thoughtful
Comment by Vicky on 25th January 2013
Way to go Olivia! Very proud of you, and such a great thing to do for Levi!