Toy Time assists families in need with holiday gifts

Margaret Hurlbert
Margaret Hurlbert
Margaret Hurlbert works as the Editor of Discover Muscatine Newspaper.

Muscatine Living

MUSCATINE, Iowa–With inflation making the price of everything, including toys, high, many families have felt the pinch this holiday season and will benefit from the Salvation Army of Muscatine County’s toy shop program. To assist the Salvation Army in collecting as many toys as possible to benefit children throughout the county, Toy Time once again brought the community together to chip in and help.

As Toy Time got started this year, Ed Morse Executive Manager Joey Krieger noticed a change in donation patterns from previous years. Though people brought fewer physical toys and gifts to send to the Salvation Army, they did bring more monetary donations, allowing staff at the Salvation Army of Muscatine County to select gifts that will match the age ranges of the children of the families that applied.

Even with the shift to more monetary donations, many businesses in Muscatine brought large donations of toys out to Ed Morse Chevy, Buick, GMC. A&G Products of Muscatine made a sizable donation of two pallets of toys. Towards the end of the week, Blain’s Farm & Fleet brought several pallets of toys from their annual Toyland display.

One of Toy Time’s longest standing traditions, the Muscatine County Sheriff’s Office delivered several vehicle loads of toys as well as 53 bicycles on behalf of Viola Werner. Throughout the fall, Werner hosted three events to raise money to purchase bikes and toys, a Chili Cookoff at Jody’s Bar a second at the American Legion and a fundraiser at Boonie’s. At each of the events, 50/50 drawings, raffles, and free will donation boxes brought in sizable sums to put towards toys.

Then, she and officers from the Muscatine County Sheriff’s Office went shopping together to purchase items suitable to donate, which they then stored at Chamberlin Heating & Air Conditioning prior to delivering them to Ed Morse Chevy, Buick, GMC. “A couple weeks ago, we went to Walmart with Viola and basically went on a shopping spree,” Muscatine County Sheriff Quin Reiss reported.

The Muscatine County Sheriff’s Office dropping of their bike donations for Toy Time at Ed Morse Chevy, Buick, GMC. Photo by Margaret Hurlbert.

A sizable haul despite the higher cost of bikes and toys this year, Reiss took pride in the donation: “It’s awesome, just absolutely awesome. Every year, we start with one or two and then as the weeks go by we get 50, 60, 70 bikes.”

A major undertaking each year, Krieger shared that all the donations brought in through Toy Time this year, “makes me feel really good to know that 100% of all Two Weeks of Love donations go directly to Muscatine County and can help families in our community.”

He added he felt: “extremely proud to carry on the tradition and vision that was set forth by Doug Krieger, Mike Riggan and Dwayne Hopkins back in 2000. Each and every year we try to make Toy Time bigger and better.”

Kreger also thanked the community for their ongoing support over the past 22 years “Two Weeks of Love does not happen without the support of our amazing companies and community members of Muscatine!”

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