Finding Connection & Joy in Giving

Ryan Maloney inspires others to give of their time and money.

Ryan Maloney is one of our many dedicated volunteers who share their time and talents to make our communities better.

For Ryan Maloney, life is all about connection. It’s something he knows well as he leads a life abundant with volunteerism and generosity, which brings him much joy—and a community of like-minded people.

“You never know what connections you will make when you’re out there volunteering,” said Ryan, a fundholder at the Galesburg Community Foundation. He also serves as a volunteer at the Community Foundation’s Community Treasures Thrift Store and has been active in the community for years.

Ryan grew up in the Galesburg community with cerebral palsy, and when he returned home after 3 years at a specialized school in Chicago, he struggled to transition back to a place that had changed during the time he was away. “I was feeling lost at the time,” he said. “Many of my friends and the people I’d grown up with were gone. It was hard.”

He thought volunteering would give him a different direction and purpose, and Community Treasures took a chance on him. “The staff at Community Treasures is so accommodating,” he said. “They have helped me out so much professionally and personally.”

The work at the thrift store kicked off a desire to do more—to help more. “Volunteering has filled so much for me and allowed me to get other volunteer opportunities,” he said. “I’m proud of this.”

Ryan hopes his impact on the region through Community Treasures inspires others to step outside their comfort zone and find a place to give, either of their time or money. Through social media, he’s on a mission to educate. He has worked to connect people with volunteer opportunities, introduce staff from fellow organizations to each other, and to help other people understand what Galesburg Community Foundation does. “The opportunities to support our community are out there. You may have challenges, but anyone can work or volunteer, even if you have a disability,” he said.

That is one of the reasons Ryan participates in Rainbow Riders Therapeutic Horseback Riding, an organization supported by the Community Foundation. Foundation staff introduced him to the program in 2013 and encouraged him to try it out. “It’s helped my muscles and body get better and stronger,” he said. “I was nervous to start, but it’s been great. I have grown so much. It was new to me, and I am proud of overcoming my fear.”

Rainbow Riders was on the list when Ryan recently celebrated his 30th birthday and marked it by making gifts to local organizations, including the Stone Hayes Center for Independent Living, and the Knox County YMCA through the Ryan J. Maloney Endowment Fund at the Community Foundation. Giving is all about creating ripples of positive change throughout the community, Ryan said. “I like to give back to a community that has given so much support to my family and me. I hope people see that there are so many opportunities to give and so much to love about this community.”

“I hope people see that there are so many opportunities to give and so much to love about this community.”


The new site of the FISH of Galesburg food pantry at the corner of Henderson and Main Streents.

A new home: FISH of Galesburg gets a facility upgrade

FISH of Galesburg has moved to its new home on Main Street.

Ribbon-cutting of the new River Bend Food Bank, Galesburg Branch and FISH of Galesburg food pantry

Celebrating our largest Mission Impact Investment: River Bend Food Bank, Galesburg Branch and FISH of Galesburg food pantry

The region celebrated the new home of River Bend Food Bank, Galesburg Branch and FISH of Galesburg food pantry with a public open house and ribbon-cutting on November 15.

Exterior of River Bend Food Bank - Galesburg Branch

New River Bend Food Bank Regional Hub and FISH Food Pantry to open with public ribbon-cutting celebration

Galesburg Community Foundation Mission Impact Investment boasts more resources, increased food access for families in need in Knox County and surrounding areas

In the new cooler space ae, from left, Lions Club Teasurer Dave Pearson, River bend Food Bank Galesburg Branch Site Director Aaron Baron, Galesburg Community Foundation President & CEO Josh Gibb, FISH of Galesburg President Diane Copeland, Lions Club Past President Kim Norton, and FISH of Galesburg Executive Director Elizabeth Culbertson.

Coming together to combat hunger: Lions Club leverages international investment for regional impact

It was during COVID-19 that the extent of food insecurity in the region became clear to the Galesburg Lions Club.

L to R: Galesburg Community Foundation Board President John McClean, Galesburg Public Library Foundation Executive Director Heather Sipes, Galesburg Community Foundation President & CEO Josh Gibb, and Galesburg Library Director Noelle Thompson.

New Galesburg Public Library Receives More Than $1 Million Through Match Grant

In just nine months, more than $1 million was raised for Galesburg’s new library through a match grant challenge by the Galesburg Community Foundation to the Galesburg Public Library Foundation.

Jordan Holcomb

Meet the New Assistant Manager at Community Treasures

Jordan Holcomb brings a love for customer service to his role as the assistant manager at Community Treasures, a trendy, philanthropic thrift shop.