“Education and children’s literature were Donna Helble’s passions. In 1973, she moved to Winona to take a position at Goodview elementary where she taught grades one through four in the Program for Learning in Accordance with Needs. In 1988, she began her career at Winona State University as a professor of education. She chaired the popular community-wide “reading in the Mall” event for 25 years that promoted children’s literacy in Winona and the surrounding communities. This event attracted 2,000 people annually and every child who attended received a new book. She was known for her professional and civic contributions, serving on several boards and committees and receiving many awards and accolades. The Winona community benefited from her full and benevolent life,” excerpted from Donna’s obituary.

As part of her will, Donna made a specific gift to the Winona Community Foundation with the direction to establish a special interest fund for promoting literacy of youth in Winona. Donna is no longer with us, but her passion for education and literacy will live on through her generous gift. The Foundation will carry her torch forward and continue to promote children’s literacy in Winona by awarding grants through this fund.


  • Donna Helble Literacy Fund
  • Type of Fund: Special Purpose (Literacy)
  • Given through: A gift made in her Estate Plan/Will
  • Administered: By the Foundation Board of Directors