2019 Quad Cities Holiday Parties for Special Needs Kids



2019 Ladies Luncheon Contributes to Mississippi Bend Assistive Technology Device


Happy Joe’s Journey – Remembering a QC Icon with Mike Mickle







Edison Elementary Celebrates Happy Joe


Edison Elementary Celebrates Life of Happy Joe

Happy Joe Whitty


Happy Joe Whitty completed his life’s work Tuesday, October 29, 2019. He now rests in God’s loving arms.  He was a fabulous father, grandfather, brother, uncle, community leader, as well as an advocate for those with special needs. Joe inspired us all. A Celebration of Life was held following the funeral. The family asked that all remember Joe with happiness. “He was a bright light in our world with an unforgettable smile and a compassionate, faithful heart. Let us all honor him by practicing human kindness every day.”


2018 Holiday Party for Special Needs Children


2018 Holiday Party on KWQC TV

Pictures from the 2018 holiday party for special needs children at the TaxSlayer Center.

Attendee speaks about the 2018 Holiday Party

WHBF coverage of 2018 party

Medford Donates Books to Taylor County Literacy Council


Taylor Co Literacy Council Medford, WI

March Book Deliveries


Happy Joe’s Kids Foundation and BAM donated books to area organizations. Watch and see the excitement.

Sharing the Love


Happy Joe’s Kids Foundation and Books-A-Million Donate Books to Children with Special Needs

In addition to delivering heart-shaped Valentine’s Day pizzas this week, Happy Joe’s is also delivering something wonderful for some young book-lovers in the community. The Happy Joe’s Kids Foundation is dedicated to benefiting and improving the lives of children with special needs and their families. Happy Joe’s has a long-standing tradition of commitment to these special people.

Happy Joe’s teamed up with Books-A-Million during the holidays and invited the community to donate books that would be placed into the hands of children and adults with special needs. Books-A-Million collected over 1,000 books and Happy Joe’s delivered some of those books into grateful hands today.

The Handicapped Development Center was one of the first recipients today and it couldn’t have come at a more perfect time, as they’re building a library room for their facility. Kristel Whitty-Ersan, one of the owners of Happy Joe’s and Happy Joe Whitty’s daughter, stated, “We’ve always supported groups that support those with special needs and it’s extremely exciting to move forward with our cause and have a real foundation in place to help us do so. We launched our foundation in honor of our 40th anniversary. Our dad, Happy Joe, said he wants to see this foundation carry out our mission of always showing support for those with special needs and their families.”

Katey Wulf, manager of the Davenport BAM!, said, “The Happy Joe’s Kids Foundation is a great organization and we plan to be part of it every year. We like to do a book drive each November through December to support their mission and offer our community a way to give back.” The Happy Joe’s Kids Foundation is a national foundation. To learn more or to make a donation, go to www.happyjoeskids.org.


HJKF supports events that help special needs kids


April 24, 2012 – Bettendorf, Iowa-based Happy Joe’s Kids Foundation announced its initial list of summer events in the Quad Cities it will be supporting as part of its efforts to raise awareness and support for children with special needs.  Look for Happy the Dog and the Happy Joe’s Dancers at each of these events and pick up information on how you can support the special needs of area children through the Happy Joe’s Kids Foundation.

Events include:

The 47th Annual QC Criterium
Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure
Sturgis Mississippi River Motorcycle Rally
Mississippi River Motorcycle Rally for Children’s Therapy Center
IH Mississippi Valley Blues Festival
Mercer County Fair
Moonlight Chase
Ragbrai XL Bike Race
Downtown Davenport Street Fest
Bix 7 Run/Walk
The Great Mississippi Valley Fair
Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival

River Roots Live Music Festival
St. Jude’s Davenport Ride
Happy Joe’s Kids Micro-Marathon

The Quad Cities Marathon
Heart of Illinois Down Syndrome Association Buddy Walk

Hand in Hand

Hand In Hand was created by local Quad City parents to serve children and young adults with special needs. In addition we support the families of these children so that they can be successful at work and at home. Today Hand In Hand offers summer camps, childcare, a bowling league, overnights and even a Girl Scout Troop among its many program choices.
In addition, information about community resources is also available to parents regarding various disability issues. Learn More

Handicapped Development Center

The Handicapped Development Center supports those people with disabilities at work, at home, and in the community.

At HDC’s workshop, people learn work skills and are provided with a place where they can experience the dignity of doing real work and the pride of earning a paycheck. They can also receive the support they need to find and maintain a job in the community.
Learn More

Read the story of Joe Whitty's life.

Read the story of Joe Whitty's life.

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Helping Kids with Special Needs Across America

Happy Joe’s Kids Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded by Happy Joe Whitty and his family to help meet the needs of special needs kids wherever they may be.

Support HJKF

Children’s Therapy Center of the Quad Cities

The Children’s Therapy Center offers medical rehabilitation therapy services to children with developmental disabilities and developmental delays.

Over the years, thousands of individuals and their families have benefited from our services – regardless of their ability to pay for the services. Now, with a focus on young children, the Children’s Therapy Center is a major service provider for children and families throughout Western Illinois and Southeastern Iowa. Learn More