Giving a Hand Up
by Tony Tone
May 23, 2020

Lieutenant Greg Bock with The Salvation Army has a saying that I really like, “we’re not giving people a handout–we’re giving them a hand up.” How powerful is that?!

I want to acknowledge and thank Muscatine for once again rallying around those in need. The past two weeks saw a very successful Pandemic Pantry campaign. The food drive was organized by Dave Riggan with TanTara Transportation Company and Joey Krieger with Krieger’s. They felt the need to act upon learning how low the food supply was at the pantry within the Salvation Army.

What’s good about the pantry being empty was that people in need had been able to receive food! The concern came from realizing more food would be needed to keep up with the demand. We’re talking about 1,300 people relying on places like the Salvation Army, United Way, and MCSA. A lot of these folks are receiving help for the very first time.

I cannot fathom thinking of my neighbors going hungry. That doesn’t sit well with me. If anything, it motivates me to do anything I can to make a difference.

Let me get back to Dave Riggan; this guy brought his own truck drivers (a tremendous group) back to work to help with the food drive! You read that correctly; the pandemic had impacted business for TanTara and the Riggans were able to get people back to work for a good cause. That’s front page news. Those folks made the $20 pre-packaged bags of food we sold at Hy-Vee.

Folks, this is why I love Muscatine and will never leave (unless I win the lottery, then you’ll find me in Italy for a month or so). This community never hesitates when help is needed. I’m so thankful to raise my family, work, and live in Muscatine.

I’m also thankful for the news stations in the Quad Cities for covering the food drive. Here’s what I know; we need to yell when good things happen. The media will always be here during tough times, so we need to make our voices heard when something positive is happening. This isn’t about patting ourselves on the back but informing the masses that Muscatine is a special place.

I know times are still tough and that we’re all processing what “normal” might look like. If you’re feeling distraught, at least take solace in knowing that the place you call home is the best place to be. Take care of yourselves, and thank you to everyone who gives me feedback on this column. You don’t know how much that means to me. Until next week, keep up the good work, Muscatine!

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