Amy Helpenstell Foundation Fund at the Community Foundation announces over $580,000 in grants to local nonprofits in 2016
Forty-five area nonprofit programs were awarded $581,450 on October 12 during the Amy Helpenstell Foundation Fund’s grant reception at the iWireless Center in Moline.
The Amy Helpenstell Foundation Fund, a fund of the Quad Cities Community Foundation, carries out the legacy of Ms. Helpenstell and her passion for youth development, health, community development, cultural activities and education. Since 2005, the fund has directed over $6 million to nonprofit organizations in the Quad Cities area, where Ms. Helpenstell lived, worked, and volunteered.
Ms. Helpenstell passed away at age 33 on February 1, 2003, from complications due to an eating disorder. She underwent a long and courageous battle with the disease, which began in high school.
“Through Amy’s foundation fund, we focus attention on Amy’s vibrant life and her passion for her community,” said Kelly Thompson, Director of Programs for the Community Foundation. “The thousands of people helped each year by these grants honor her memory.”
Amber and Amy Haskill, co-founders of nonprofit organization QC Closet2Closet, see the connection. These sophomores at Rock Island High School were adopted six years ago, along with their four siblings, by Alli and Dan Haskill. While in foster care, they regularly lost their belongings when they moved from home to home. Knowing that other children and teens face the same challenge, the family started QC Closet2Closet to provide gently-used, current-style clothing to foster and homeless children ages 10-18.
“We are honored this year to receive a grant from the Amy Helpenstell Foundation Fund,” said Amy Haskill. “Amber and I are inspired by Ms. Helpenstell’s story because like us, she was a student and athlete at Rock Island High School. Also like us, she loved her community and wanted to work to make it better.
Bud Helpenstell, Amy Helpenstell’s father and Past Chair of the committee, welcomed the 75 attendees at the reception. Karen Evers, Chair of the Amy Helpenstell Foundation Fund committee, presented the grants to the following organizations.
Aldridge Early Learning Center; $1,000
Augustana College; $10,000
Bethany for Children & Families; $10,000
Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Mississippi Valley; $15,000
Black Hawk College Adult Education Program; $15,000
Black Hawk College Foundation; $4,500
Boys and Girls Clubs of the Mississippi Valley; $15,000
Child Abuse Council; $12,000
Children's Therapy Center of the Quad Cities; $15,000
Christian Care; $15,000
Churches United of the QCA; $15,000
Family Resources; $10,000
Genesius Guild Theatre Foundation; $4,000
Gilda's Club Quad Cities; $8,000
Habitat for Humanity Quad Cities; $7,500
Hand In Hand; $6,000
Henry County Youth Services Bureau; $10,000
Humility of Mary Housing; $18,000
Humility of Mary Shelter; $15,000
Martin Luther King Jr. Center - Youth Programs; $20,000
Martin Luther King Jr. Center - Metropolitan Youth Program; $15,000
Nahant Marsh Education Center; $10,000
New Kingdom Trailriders; $5,000
Project Renewal; $14,000
Quad City Arts; $7,500
Quad City Botanical Center; $8,000
QC Closet2Closet; $1,500
Quad City Symphony Orchestra; $7,500
Rebuilding Together Quad Cities; $20,000
River Bend Foodbank; $15,000
Robert Young Center: Amy's Gift; $47,000
Rock Island County Extension & 4-H Education Foundation; $2,500
School Health LINK; $15,000
Spring Forward Learning Center; $12,000
St. Joseph the Worker House; $10,000
Supplemental Emergency Assistance Program; $10,000
The Center for Youth and Family Solutions; $5,000
Thomas Merton House – Café on Vine; $10,000
Transitions Mental Health Services; $5,000
Two Rivers YMCA; $10,000
Vera French Foundation-Rick’s House of Hope; $10,000
WVIK Quad Cities NPR; $10,000
Youth Service Bureau of Rock Island County; $15,000
YWCA of the QC – Preschool & Child Care Programs; $15,000
YWCA of the QC – the Place2B; $15,000
Several organizations also received transition grants earlier in the year totaling $60,450, as the Fund switched from two grant cycles per year to one.
Photo above: Amber Haskill, Bud Helpenstell, and Amy Haskill. Amber and Amy Haskill co-founded QC Closet2Closet with their family to provide gently-used, current-style clothing to foster and homeless children ages 10-18. The organization accepted a grant from the Amy Helpenstell Foundation Fund at the Quad Cities Community Foundation.