Dress for Success collection day at WQAD

One Quad City grassroots organization is raising awareness for brain trauma

DAVENPORT, IOWA --  1.7 million people are diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury each year in The United States. More than 33,000 of those people live in Iowa.

Right now there are limited brain injury recovery resources after therapy  in the state of Iowa according to Missey Heinrichs, Empower House founder. Missey's organization, Empower House, is trying to change that here in the Quad Cities.

Right now, Empower House meets in a basement room at Sacred Heart Church in Davenport once a week.

"These folks one day woke up and went to work as normal and then all of the sudden something happened and their lives changed forever," Missey said.

The organization is working on growing the resources by holding fundraisers to build a brain injury clubhouse. A brain injury clubhouse is a place where adults suffering from a brain injury can go everyday to re-learn and work on life and job skills, compared to the once a week they go now.

These injuries can be side effects resulting in anything from strokes, brain tumors, anything that effects the brain. according to Missey.

"You can be effected physically, emotionally, and cognitively," Missey said.

The overall goal of the clubhouse is to partner with businesses in the community, getting the clubhouse participants back in the job force.

"Not only do they lose maybe their income, but they lose their sense of purpose," Missey said. "When they wake up in the morning, they have nothing to go necessarily and do, so they kind of feel lost."

Empower House currently has 12 participants, but want a bigger space to help more people.

"It impacts your memory, the way you problem solve, and your judgement, Missey said. "Those issues it makes it hard for these folks to get back to work, so they are not able to return to their normal way of life."

Missey says they need almost half a million dollars to build the clubhouse. They are applying for grants,  but also hold fundraisers within the community. They were able to raise $16,000 at a fundraiser Saturday, June 29th.

Their next fundraiser is at The Tangled Wood in Bettendorf on July 9th.

Click Here to donate online and learn more about the organization.

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