Local Collection Variables in Helpers


Is there any way i can reference a local variable of a partials
collection in the helper?

For instance, for each iteration of a list represented in a partials
collection i want to display a default value if no value is set. i
would rather not litter the view with conditionals. When i write a
helper method referring to the local collection variable (eg.
collection_name.title) it gives me an error: undefined local
variable or method

is this possible?