"Rock Island teens have won the $10,000 grand prize at the national competition of the Allstate Foundation's Good Starts.
Team QC Closet2Closet — a project started by siblings Logan, Amber and Amy Haskill, of Rock Island — was named the competition's winner Thursday in Chicago.
Ten youth social innovation teams from around the country presented their ideas and projects to a panel of judges, including actress and philanthropist Monique Coleman.
Closet2Closet provides clothing to local teens who are homeless or in foster care with the goal of helping them feel more confident. The organization collects new and gently worn clothes, and members speak at public events to spread awareness of the need.
The Haskills said they hope to use the $10,000 to open a brick-and-mortar store in the Quad-Cities to reach more children in need.
QCCloset2Closet is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that has collected donated clothing for four years. In May, the teens learned that they had won $2,000 as finalists in the competition.
The effort began as a clothing drive the Haskills held at Washington Junior High School on a "whim," according to the students' mother, Alli Haskill. Amber Haskill said she got the idea while listening to a radio broadcast that mentioned a similar organization.
From there, Amber, Amy, Logan and their brother, Liam, built QCCloset2Closet.
"Originally, it was just foster kids. But we've kind of evolved into serving not just foster kids, but also working with social workers around the states of Illinois and Iowa," Logan Haskill said in May. "It really has just come into teenagers that need clothes."
He said they have helped children in transitional houses and homeless shelters and victims of sex trafficking, among others.
According to the QCCloset2Closet website, the group offers quarterly shopping events at Trinity Lutheran Church and provides care packages to those are unable to make it to an event.
In four years, they have collected more than 17,000 clothing items, delivered more than 1,500 care packages and hosted more than 500 foster children at their events."