20 years of love: Two Weeks of Love marks 20 years in 2020

Greg Bock and Joey Krieger loading food into the Hawkeye Hauler during Freezin' for Food 2019. (file photo)

MUSCATINE, Iowa–Since 2000, Two Weeks of Love’s twin events, Toy Time and Freezin’ for Food, have helped the Salvation Army ensure families throughout the county have a happy holiday season and keep food on the table well into the new year. At a time when the region has greater need than ever before, Two Weeks of Love will continue its mission to provide for the local community.

From Nov. 30 through Dec. 4, Toy Time will take place at Krieger’s. Throughout the week, you may bring new, unwrapped gifts suitable for children 18-years-old and under to the Hawkeye Hauler, graciously provided by TanTerra Transportation. To encourage people to donate, Blain’s Farm and Fleet will donate one toy for every toy purchased from their Toy Land special section. If you would like to help out an older child or teen in need, Salvation Army Lieutenant Greg Bock encourages you to donate gift cards from local restaurants and businesses.

Bock would also like to let families in need know that they still have time to apply for gift assistance for each of their children. For anyone who would like to apply without visiting the Salvation Army of Muscatine County in person, they may call 563-263-8272 or send a private message to the Salvation Army of Muscatine County’s Facebook Page. “We know the need is greater than in any other year,” emphasized Bock, adding that they plan to keep accepting applications for some time. “We’re not going to stop until well into the end of November.”

After helping make sure the children of Muscatine County get something special this holiday season, Two Weeks of Love will also help stock the Salvation Army’s food pantry through Freezin’ for Food. From Dec. 7 through 11, you may purchase pre-packed bags of food at Hy-Vee and have their employees roll them out to the Hawkeye Hauler in the parking lot for you, or you may bring your own unopened, non-perishable food items. Bock stresses that every donation will help hungry families especially at a time when the Salvation Army gives out more food than ever before. “Nothing is too small or insignificant to donate.” For those looking for donation ideas, Bock suggests boxed dinners like Hamburger Helper and low sodium canned vegetables and meats. Because the Salvation Army always works to meet peoples’ specific dietary needs, he also encourages donations of specialty foods, such as gluten free items.

As Muscatine gears up for the 20th year of Two Weeks of Love, Bock looks forward to continuing this important community tradition. “It’s really cool to get to watch this almost sacred tradition of older generations teach their kids to give generously,” he observed.

Even in the face of all the difficulties of 2020, he knows the community will step up and fulfill the county’s needs. “I know the heart of the people of Muscatine County is bigger than any obstacle that can be thrown at them, he said with conviction.