This week, citizens from across Muscatine County came together for Toy Time to help make sure the Salvation Army of Muscatine County (SAMC) could continue its tradition of providing holiday gifts to children in need. The community did not disappoint. Through the help of individuals and businesses, Toy Time will provide gifts to more than 800 kids across Muscatine.
Since Toy Time began in 2001, Krieger’s of Muscatine has hosted the event, supporting the SAMC’s mission. “For the past nineteen years, we’ve been focused on helping the less fortunate, and the community makes sure no one gets left behind. . .. Our ultimate goal for Toy Time is for every kid in the Muscatine area to have a toy under the tree on Christmas,” said Joey.
Over the course of the week, the community has done just that. On Wednesday, December 4th, First National Bank arrived at the Hawkeye Hauler to make the first largescale donation. After holding a jeans day for Toy Time, employees from First National Bank were able to raise a significant amount of money to purchase toys for those in need. “We’re just really happy to be part of Two Weeks of Love,” said Amber Schulte, First National Bank’s Director of Marketing.
On Thursday night, Toy Time received its most iconic donation, Viola Werner’s bike donation. Approximately fifteen vehicles, many towing trailers, brought sixty-five bikes and many, many toys out to Krieger’s of Muscatine for Werner’s donation. An event that started fourteen years ago, Werner looks forward to keeping the tradition going for many years into the future. “I just love kids, and no kids should wake up Christmas morning without toys,” said Werner.
As always, many groups assisted Werner in making her donation. They included the Muscatine County Sheriff’s Department. A supporter of Werner’s for some time, (Werner and her husband both worked for the department as a dispatcher and deputy respectively). Captain Quinn Riess stated the department always feels happy to help out.
For the first time this year, Chamberlin’s Heating and Air Conditioning helped to store and transport the bikes. In the spirit of giving, several of their clients and vendors also contributed bikes as well.
The Muscatine Running Friends got in on the act too. They helped escort and unload the bikes at Krieger’s this year. According to Jimmy Hillier, a supporter of Werner’s donation since the beginning, the Muscatine Running Friends also plan to hold a 5K race to raise money for Werner’s donation next year.
On Friday, Tan Tara Transportation, Blain’s Farm and Fleet, and Kreiger’s of Muscatine all made large donations to Toy Time to fill the Hawkeye Hauler all the way up. Of especial note, Blain’s Farm and Fleet matched each toy purchased from their store this year, providing an enormous number for area children to enjoy.
On Saturday morning, volunteers unloaded the Hawkeye Hauler, dropping the toys off at Calvary to sort. Next week, Two Weeks of Love will continue with Freezing for Food in the Hy-Vee Second Avenue parking lot.