Community Foundation announces more than $315,000 in grants

Twenty nonprofit organizations serving Rock Island and Scott Counties in the Quad Cities have been awarded more than $315,000 in funding from the Amy Helpenstell Foundation Fund at the Quad Cities Community Foundation. More than $110,000 in additional funds will be awarded through renewable grants in 2020. 

The Amy Helpenstell Foundation Fund carries out the legacy of Helpenstell and her passion for youth development, health, community development, cultural activities and education. Since 2005, the fund has directed nearly $7 million to nonprofit organizations in the Quad Cities area, where Helpenstell lived, worked, and volunteered.

The grants support the core operating and program costs of nonprofit organizations, providing the best opportunity for them to be flexible and responsive to opportunities and needs in the Quad Cities. “Amy’s passion for the community shows in every one of these grants,” said Kelly Thompson, vice president of grantmaking and community initiatives at the Community Foundation. “Our community honors her memory through the good work that is happening through this funding.”

One of those organizations—Fresh Films—will be able to engage Quad Cities teens in a yearlong film production program that prepares them for college and media careers. The teens will work weekly with professional filmmakers, and be placed in local internships. Kelli Feigley, co-founder and managing director of Fresh Films, said that she is particularly excited to introduce more students to the program.

“We often attract students who may not be triggered by traditional studies. Through filmmaking, in all of its forms, students are realizing their own capabilities, discovering something they love to do, and building problem-solving and creative thinking skills along the way,” Feigley said. “We are grateful for the investment the Community Foundation is making in our youth.”

The following organizations received funding for 2019. An * denotes a grant that will be paid over the course of two years, half in 2019 and half in 2020:

  • Boys and Girls Club of the Mississippi Valley: $20,000*

  • Christ United Methodist Church: $3,160

  • DeLaCerda House Inc.: $6,900

  • Fresh Films: $13,000*

  • Genesis VNA and Hospice: $20,000*

  • Habitat for Humanity Quad Cities: $16,300

  • Hand-in-Hand: $5,600

  • Hot Glass Inc.: $10,000*

  • Humility Homes & Services Inc.: $40,000*

  • Lead(h)er: $5,000

  • Nahant Marsh Education Center: $40,000*

  • One Eighty: $10,000*

  • Prairie State Legal Services: $20,000*

  • Putnam Museum and Science Center: $30,000*

  • QC United: $7,250

  • River Bend Foodbank: $19,500

  • Safe Families for Children Alliance: $8,530

  • Tapestry Farms: $7,900

  • Testimonies of Hope: $12,000

  • Vera French Foundation: $20,000*

 Grants are made available thanks to the generosity of donors in the region who have made endowment gifts to support communities in the Quad Cities area. These grants were awarded through the Quad Cities Community Foundation’s Coordinated Field of Interest Fund Opportunity, allowing nonprofits to submit one application and be considered for many grant opportunities. Next week, nearly $77,000 in additional grants will be announced. For more information about starting a fund to support the region, or to apply for a grant, visit