Gold Heart Day is celebrated on February 14 to raise awareness and help disadvantaged and disabled children have an equal opportunity to reach their potential, regardless of the circumstances they may find themselves in. Gold Heart Day is dedicated to helping improve the lives of the children and providing support to their parents and schools to realize that their condition or circumstance can’t stop them, and they are limitless. The Variety Club charity started the initiative to help parents with a disabled child as the costs are significantly higher — up to £600 more per month — than those with non-disabled children. Join the journey into this philanthropic day dedicated to needy and disadvantaged children.
History of Gold Heart Day
A group of 11 show business friends from different entertainment sectors, including cinema, theater, circus, e.t.c., began the Variety Club in October 1927 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Their initial aim was simple fellowship, but a year later, an act of goodwill catalyzed what would later become a global initiative.
A baby girl was found abandoned on a cinema seat on December 24, 1928, just as the theater was about to close. The one-month-old baby girl was left with a note from her mother in the Sheridan Square Movie Theater saying her name was Catherine and that she could no longer take care of her as she had eight more children to care for. She had heard of the show business people’s kindness and prayed that Catherine would be looked after. The police never located the mother, so the Variety Club adopted her, named her Catherine Variety Sheridan, and took charge of her upbringing and education.
The single act of goodwill brought nationwide newspaper coverage, and other show business people offered to help. Soon, clothes and toys began to overflow for baby Catherine, too much for her, so the Variety Club decided to find needy children to give them to. A simple story full of kindness served as a springboard for the organization to go global. Although the first Variety Club began in the U.S., it now has several branches known as ‘tents’ worldwide, including Tent 36 in Britain. Due to the organization’s deep roots in showbiz traditions, they staged their first Annual Dinner and Ball in Pittsburgh in a Big Top, which is also why they refer to the branches as Tents and their members as Barkers.
Gold Heart Day timeline
Eleven close friends from different show business sectors form the Variety Club in the U.S.
An abandoned baby is found on a cinema seat at the Sheridan Square Movie Theater on Christmas Eve and adopted by the Variety Club.
The club launches with a dinner at The Savoy, where film moguls, agents, and celebrities are in attendance.
The International Board Member Marsha Rae Ratcliff launches a campaign to create heart-shaped gold pins for fundraising purposes to help kids in need in Great Britain.
Gold Heart Day FAQs
What is the official name of the Variety Club?
The official name of the Variety Club is Variety the Children’s Charity.
What is the Variety Club?
It is an international charity made up of famous actors and entertainers committed to helping children by organizing shows and concerts.
Where was the Variety Club established?
A group of show business friends started the first Variety Club in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
How to Observe Gold Heart Day
Donate to the cause
You can donate to the cause once-off or regularly. Donations such as gifts and skills are also needed. They can change the lives of children who are disabled and living in poverty and will help fund their causes by providing wheelchairs, supporting schools, hospitals, hospices, e.t.c.
Buy and wear a Gold Heart pin
The Gold Heart pin is a fundraising initiative, and proceeds go to needy and disadvantaged children. The pins have also become collector’s items, and on Gold Heart Day, you can wear your heart on your sleeve to support the cause.
You can be a volunteer at the Variety Club and help positively impact the lives of the children they support. You can also join their fundraising initiatives to raise more money and awareness of the organization and its work.
5 Important Facts About Gold Heart Pins
Motion picture partners
Since 2002, the Variety Club has partnered with a major motion picture studio to design a Gold Heart Pin centered around a movie or movie character from the studio.
Multi-million dollar partnership
The partnership with the motion picture industry has raised over $25 million worldwide.
New designs every year
The Variety Club designs a new Gold Heart Pin every year, making them a sought-after collector’s item worn by millions of people to show their support.
The notable classic pins include movies and movie characters like “Mickey Mouse,” “Shrek,” “E.T.”, “Kermit the Frog,” “R2D2,” “C3PO,” and many more.
The most successful fundraising initiative
The Gold Hearts are one of the Variety Club’s most successful fundraisers.
Why Gold Heart Day is Important
It provides support to the needy and disadvantaged
Gold Heart Day allows the Variety Club to raise money to help sick, disabled, and disadvantaged children. The money helps improve the children’s lives through grants for specialist disability equipment, wheelchairs, accessible transport, and trips during their Great Days Out program.
It provides support for families
Gold Heart Day allows the Variety Club to access volunteers who can help them provide support to the families living with children aged 18 and younger that have a recognized disability or long-term health condition. They do so in the form of grants for partly and fully funded wheelchairs and specialist equipment.
It raises awareness
The day raises awareness of the kind of work that the Variety Club does, which is believing that there should be an equal opportunity for all children to reach their potential. Through increased awareness, they are also connected to people in need to meet those children’s needs.
Gold Heart Day dates