Amy Helpenstell Foundation Fund at the Community Foundation announces $279,900 in grants to local nonprofits

Twenty-two area nonprofit organizations were awarded $279,900 earlier this month during the Amy Helpenstell Foundation Fund’s fall grant reception at Jumer’s Casino and Hotel in Rock Island.

The Amy Helpenstell Foundation Fund, a fund of the Community Foundation, makes grants in the Quad Cities region that support the core mission work of nonprofits while also honoring the legacy of Helpenstell and meeting her charitable objectives, which include supporting programs for youth development, health, community development, cultural activities and education.

The fund provides grants to carry out its mission to schools, colleges and charitable organizations within a 60-mile radius of Rock Island, where Helpenstell lived and worked. The fund awarded $286,000 in grants earlier this spring, for a total of $565,900 this calendar year.

“This fund has continued to breathe life into the missions of so many important organizations in this region,” said Kelly Thompson, Director of Programs for the Community Foundation. “Amy’s memory is honored—because these grants help protect children, house families, and contribute to our vibrant local culture. These grants make a real difference in the lives of individuals, which is felt throughout our community.”

Amy Helpenstell’s father Bud Helpenstell presented the grants to the following area nonprofits:

  • Christian Care, for domestic violence counseling and case management: $15,000

  • Churches United of the Quad City Area, for Winnie’s Place Emergency Shelter: $15,000

  • Family Resources, for Core Mission Campaign match: $10,000

  • Habitat for Humanity Quad Cities, for a new home: $5,000

  • Humility of Mary Housing, Inc., for transitional housing for single parent families experiencing homelessness: $18,000

  • Humility of Mary Shelter, Inc., for shelter, housing and services for people experiencing homelessness: $18,000

  • Martin Luther King Jr. Center, Inc., for the center’s Metropolitan Youth Program: $15,000

  • Martin Luther King Jr. Center, Inc., for the center’s other youth programs: $20,000

  • Project Renewal, for the afterschool program: $14,000

  • Quad City Arts, for the Visiting Artist Series: $5,000

  • Quad City Botanical Center, for self-guided tour technology: $5,000

  • Rebuilding Together Quad Cities, for home repairs for those least able: $20,000

  • River Bend Foodbank, for the Backpack Program: $15,000

  • Rock Island County Extension and 4-H Education Foundation, for teen leadership programs: $3,000

  • St. Joseph the Worker House Association, for transitional housing for homeless women and children: $10,000

  • Supplemental Emergency Assistance Program, for client emergency financial assistance: $10,000

  • Thomas Merton House, Inc., for daily readiness of the meal program at Café on Vine: $10,000

  • Transitions Mental Health Services, for the Youth Engagement Project: $9,900

  • WVIK Quad Cities NPR, for the Amy Helpenstell Public Broadcast Fellowship: $12,000

  • Youth Services Bureau of Rock Island County, for the Family Therapy Program: $20,000

  • YouthBuild Quad Cities, for the job training and pre-apprenticeship program: $10,000

  • YWCA of the Quad Cities, for the Childcare Center: $20,000

During the October reception, representatives of three of the nonprofits receiving grants spoke, including Rod Jennings of Rebuilding Together Quad Cities, Anissa Pemberton of Quad City Arts and Sister Ruth E. Westmoreland of Café on Vine.  

For more information about The Amy Helpenstell Foundation Fund at the Community Foundation, visit or call 563/326-2840.