MUSCATINE, Iowa–The 20th year of Two Weeks of Love started off strong with a successful Toy Time at Krieger’s of Muscatine. “There’s a lot of different events that kick off seasons,” Lieutenant Greg Bock of the Salvation Army of Muscatine County mused. “For me, in Muscatine, Two weeks of Love kicks off the Christmas holiday season.”
Throughout the week, community members, families, and businesses of all sizes made the trip out to the TanTara Hawkeye Hauler to donate toys for kids of all ages in Muscatine County. Together, they brought in many toys to make sure that all local children have a happy holiday this year, despite the pandemic. “COVID has changed a lot of things, but it hasn’t changed how we care about each other,” stressed Bock, going on to say that the drive succeeded, “because a lot of people care and they work to make big problems little things.”
Donations began picking up Wednesday after the Muscatine County Board of Realtors donated a large number of toys. The organization collected them at a toy drive held earlier in the season.
The following evening, volunteers from the Muscatine County Sheriff’s Office and Chamberlin Heating and Air Conditioning helped Viola Werner deliver bikes from her annual Toyz 4 Kidz fundraiser. This year, Werner donated 75 bikes, ten more than in the previous year. She also brought in numerous toys suitable for children of many ages. As these donations arrived at the Hawkeye Hauler, Viola took delight in them and thanked everyone who had attended Toyz 4 Kidz and made the donation possible. “We’re so happy the community really stepped up to help,” she said.
A trio of donations Friday helped fill the additional space in the truck. First, Krieger’s of Muscatine brought over several pallets of toys donated by Blain’s Farm and Fleet, as well as donations of their own. As Krieger’s loaded their donations into the truck, John Kreiger expressed his gratitude both to Blain’s and everyone who helped the drive succeed. “I want to thank everyone who goes year in and year out to put this event on and the generous folks in the community, and I hope everyone knows they’re doing a good deed,” he stated.
Soon after, Amber Schulte and her team from First National Bank brought their haul of toys. Through their jeans days fundraiser, they collected enough money to purchase many toys geared towards older kids.
Finally, UnityPoint Trinity Muscatine brought more than $200 worth of toys to Toy Time. Angie Koppe and Beth Poci felt proud of the way everyone at the hospital pulled together to help kids in need this year. “Christmas is for the kids, and we really want to make sure everyone has something under the tree Christmas morning,” Poci emphasized.
On Dec. 5, the Hawkeye Hauler deposited its load of toys for sorting and distribution. In the weeks ahead, families in need will have opportunities to select gifts for each of their children, allowing them to still have a joyful holiday season even in this difficult year.