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 Community Foundation of the Great River Bend, 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.
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 Community Foundation of the Great River Bend.