ROCK ISLAND — Liam Haskill’s compassion-filled, warm-hearted words were crisp and to the point.
Like the rest of his family, he wears the will to better the lives of others on his sleeve.
His siblings Amber and Amy Haskill with their light-up-the-sky smiles, talked glowingly of family, friends and a community that heard, and responded in a big way, to their message.
Amber, Amy and Liam are driven, just like their old brother Logan — a college student at Drake University — to make a difference. And they have, like few if any their age have ever done before in the Quad-Cities.
The Haskills are 24-karat gems, kind and considerate diamonds who founded QCCloset2Closet.
For four years, Amber, Amy, Logan and Liam — with a huge assist from their parents, Alli and David Haskill — have provided wardrobe assistance to local teens who are homeless or in foster care.
From years of quarterly share sessions and drop offs and pick ups, QCCloset2Closet has grown into its own storefront in the former Seaford Building at 2613 5th Ave., Rock Island.
Youngsters in need now have access four nights a week to all that QCCloset2Closet can offer. On Thursday, 5-8 p.m., the Haskills will share the new center’s opening with the public.
“Touched by the support and care of a community immediately comes to mind,” said Liam Haskill, a Rock Island High School student, when asked about QCCloset2Closet finally having a storefront complete with industrial clothing hooks to handle its large inventory.
“That support fuels what we do,” he said. “I’m just grateful and lucky to be able to do my part in of all of this.”
The organization is the brainchild of Amber and Amy Haskill, adopted by Alli and Dave in 2010. The twin girls, students at Rock Island High School, spent six years in foster care before joining the Haskill family.
According to its website, QCCloset2Closet offers gently used all-season clothing, accessories and hygiene items. Clothing begin at youth size medium (8+) and also includes all adult/junior sizes for boys, young men, girls and young women, including extended sizes.
It also offers new socks, underwear, blankets and hygiene items.
The goal of QCCloset2Closet is simple: To make life better and instill confidence in those they serve.
“I cannot say enough about the support and respect we have been shown through all of this,” said Amber Haskill. “Sure, there are challenges. But the rewards outweigh all the hard stuff.
“You really do find out just how much people care — teens, adults, administrators at our school — when it comes to an undertaking like this,” she said. “We have seen the difference it makes in the kids we have served.”
To see the trio of teen’s eyes light up, mention their new digs in the spacious, former clothing factory.
“Room for what we have is important, and we now have space for everything,” Amy Haskill said of the Seaford building.
“We want to make this special for every kid that comes in here and do our best to make them happy” she said. “We understand what they are going through. We appreciate the opportunity to use the space we have.”
Through QCCloset2Closet, the Haskills have gained national recognition, as well as a $10,000 award from the All-State Foundation. Logan Haskill, who does the books for QCCloset2Closet was honored by Coca-Cola through its “Pay it Forward” campaign. Amber and Amy Haskill were named Rock Island’s Citizens of the Year in 2015.
Though older and wiser, the attention they’ve received has not changed the four siblings. They value, respect and have genuine care for the help their parents have provided.
They also have a deep gratitude for a generous community that has rallied behind them. When QCCloset2Closet is discussed, they work to make sure there are enough thank you’s to go around.
“You never want to forget anyone when you are talking about how we got to where we are,” Amber Haskill said. “It’s not because we have to; it’s because we want people to know how grateful we are. That sometimes takes a while.
“This would not be possible without our parents,” she said. “Something everyday in their lives — and they have jobs and other things to take care of — is about QCCloset2Closet. They know what it means to us, so it is important to them.”
“I cannot wait to show the world the new building,” she adds
It is a special building, run by kids doing special work.
“Room for what we have is important, and we now have space for everything.” Amy Haskill