On Christmas Eve in 1927, a baby was left on the doorstep of a theater company with a note attached reading:

"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 and I pray to God that you will look after her."
-A Heart-Broken Mother

As a result, Variety Club International (now Variety - The Children’s Charity) was founded by the eleven entertainers who discovered Baby Catherine. Its sole purpose was to help the less fortunate and to lend a hand to various civic and charitable organizations. Variety is a not-for-profit organization that takes pride in providing programs and services to special-needs children.

Currently, Variety has over 50 tents nationally and internationally.

Tent 13, the Philadelphia chapter of Variety – The Children’s Charity, was started in 1935. Since then, the services and programs that the charity offers has helped Variety’s Tent 13 evolve into one of the largest charities in the Delaware Valley. Recently, Tent 13 received was named the #1 Chapter in the country by the national office of Variety. The distinction is given to the Variety Chapter with the greatest increase in revenue, the lowest administrative costs, and the largest development of new programs for children with disabilities.

Tent 13 serves children with physical and/or developmental disabilities in the following counties:

  • Pennsylvania: Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Montgomery, and Philadelphia
  • New Jersey: Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Mercer, Ocean, and Salem
  • Delaware: New Castle, Kent, and Sussex