A growing community, and a flourishing one


By Sherry Ristau / President and CEO

There are so many things we want the Quad Cities to be known for: welcoming, diverse, inclusive, safe, and affordable, to name just a few.

More than anything, we want to be a place that people come and stay, whether that’s a college graduate, a new family, a single mom, or a lifelong Quad Citizen. Lately, there has been a lot of discussion about our population and the need to grow. And community leaders have a plan to grow our region in the years ahead. At the Quad Cities Community Foundation, we intend to support that work by ensuring that the people who live here now—and who will someday call the Quad Cities home—are also able to flourish.

We believe the work of nonprofits is critical to a flourishing community. Alongside generous donors to the Community Foundation, we continue to foster generosity and identify promising opportunities that contribute to a cool, creative, connected, and prosperous region.

Grants that we awarded this month alone—nearly $400,000 from funds started by Quad Citizens at the Community Foundation—contribute to a flourishing community. The grants are an opportunity to highlight the strength of the nonprofit sector in the Quad Cities. Armed with these resources, 25 organizations will take these grants and continue to make our community better and more attractive for people to live and work in the Quad Cities.

Many of the nonprofits supported this month happen to work with young people—the future of our region. The Amy Helpenstell Foundation Fund awarded $13,000 to Fresh Films, a group that prepares teens to be career-ready for digital and tech jobs in our area. These students will now have the tools to stay in the Quad Cities to passionately pursue their dreams and help create a healthy workforce. A grant to Hand-in-Hand supports a program for teens that teaches social skills and independence, offering them a platform to discover who they are and what they love—and go after their dreams.

This list goes on and on, from the Boys and Girls Club of the Mississippi Valley to One Eighty and more (meet all of the grant recipients here). When we invest in young people, we also invest in the future of our community—young women and men who will grow up and meet our growing needs for talent.

Yes, we want to grow the Quad Cities. We also want to contribute to a thriving, healthy, and prosperous Quad Cities. Whatever celebrations and challenges our community faces through growth and development, we remain steady in our mission and bring creativity and passion to our work.

Our promise at the Community Foundation? We will join with others to draw people here, keep people here, and bring them together. We will help Quad Citizens give to and invest in a place they care enough about to address the opportunities we have. There is so much good here, and when good things are happening, people naturally want to be part of it.

Ted Stephens III