Variety – the Children’s Charity Hong Kong was established in 2015 by a group of individuals, from diverse career backgrounds: medical, legal, education, banking & finance, corporate, education, marketing, communications and consultancy. 

Variety – the Children’s Charity Hong Kong is an affiliate of Variety – the Children’s Charity International. However, we do not receive financial support from Variety International. All funds raised in Hong Kong are applied for the benefit of disadvantaged children in Hong Kong.



Initially founded as a social club in 1927 by a group of 11 theatre owners and showmen in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in the United States, the so-named Variety Club evolved into a charity during 1928 after an infant was found abandoned in a theatre. 

Playing cards backstage after a matinee performance at the Sheridan Square Theatre, the group heard whimpering from the auditorium. When they investigated, they discovered a one-month-old baby girl to whom her mother had pinned a desperate note:


When all efforts by the police and local newspapers failed to locate the parents, the club members decided that they would underwrite Catherine’s support and education.

The little girl, who became the inspiration for our international children’s charity, was named Catherine Variety Sheridan, her middle name for the club and last name for the theatre she was found in. The club members set out to raise money and obtain goods needed for Catherine’s care. Their first fund-raiser was held in a hotel in Pittsburgh and adopted a carnival theme – complete with a big top tent. Variety adopted carnival terminology – hence the chairpersons of our chapters (or “tents” as we call them) are called “Chief Barkers.”

Many other people wanted to get involved and the members were soon inundated with help, far too much for one child, and thus other disadvantaged and orphaned children became beneficiaries of Catherine’s “adoption” by the Variety Club members.

From the inspiration and motivation of a single child, one of the world’s greatest children’s charities developed globally.

Today, Variety – the Children’s Charity provides help to millions of disadvantaged children around the world who, like Catherine, live a better life because of the generosity of Variety’s donors, sponsors and supporters; and has maintained its links to the entertainment industry. 





Please take care of my baby. Her name is Catherine. I can no longer take care of her. I have eight others. My husband is out of work. She was born on Thanksgiving Day. I have always heard of the goodness of show business people and I pray to God that you will look out for her.

- A Heart-Broken Mother


For more information about Variety's activities around the world, please visit www.variety.org.

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