21st annual Two Weeks of Love for Salvation Army of Muscatine begins Monday

The holiday season is here, and so is the annual Two Weeks of Love supporting the Salvation Army’s efforts to help those in need throughout the Muscatine community.

Started in 2000 by Hoppi Hopkins at what is now 93.1 The Buzz, Mike Riggan of TanTara Transportation, and Doug Krieger of Kreiger Auto Group, Two Weeks of Love features a pair of a ways for you to give with Toy Time and Freezing For Food.

“Hope Marches On” is the theme of this year’s Salvation Army campaign, and Lt. Greg Bock said that theme truly reflects what happens every Two Weeks of Love.

“Every year I’m blown away by the sheer number of contributions…from individuals, corporations and even little mom and pop shops, some who may have employees that receive help from Two Week’s of Love. It is amazing!” Bock said.

“The fact that people from all walks of life, whether its somebody that has plenty to give and people who may not, they all have a bunch of love to give…it’s all about helping others. That’s what makes Two Weeks of Love so special,” Bock said.

Toy Time runs from Monday, November 29 through Friday December 3, you can drop off a new, unwrapped toy appropriate for any age at Kreiger’s Chevy Buick GMC, 501 West Bypass 61.

Gifts for teens are also accepted, including gift cards to restaurants and other local businesses. Bock said another great donation idea for the older kids are cologne or perfume gift sets, shaving kits and other personal hygiene items.

Then from Monday, December 6 through Friday December 10, its Freezing for Food. Trailers provided by TanTara Transportation will be located at Hy-Vee on 2nd Avenue, Fareway on Cedar Plaza Drive, and Walmart on U.S. 61, where you can drop off non-perishable food items.

TanTara has been involved since day one provides three tractor-trailers for the event, and their staff also creates and prints marketing materials.

“I actually just spent my lunch hour dropping off posters to about 15 businesses in town so they can display them,” David Riggan said Monday. He was headed to another 10 to 15 locations on Tuesday.

Riggan echoed Bock about what the most important thing needed to make Two Weeks of Love happen: people.

“Last year TanTara donated in upwards of 100 labor hours through our employees who worked the event, staffing the trailers during business hours and then delivering/unloading the donations to the Salvation Army on Saturday,” Riggan said. “We are always welcoming volunteers to help staff the trailers.”

“With all that had been going on last year, we wanted to make Two Weeks of Love even bigger/better than it ever had been before,” Riggan said.

“Thanks to Fareway Meat and Grocery, we were able to add an additional location to compliment our HyVee Location. You can imagine, having two grocers supporting your food drive is better than one and we capitalized on the additional donations for the Salvation Army and the people of Muscatine County,” Riggan said.

“Coming into 2021 we wanted to continue this growth trend and we are excited to announce that the Muscatine Wal Mart has joined the Freezin’ For Food campaign and we will have a Tractor/trailer parked at Wal Mart as well this year. We can say with confidence that this is Muscatine County’s largest charity drive.

Santa Claus will also be back visiting the collections sites, thanks to TanTara’s Mike Hines (wink wink), and will be posting soon when Old Saint Nick will be around.

“In everything we do, whether it be our businesses, families, or our community – the most important thing in our lives are the people,” Riggan said.

“It has been a privilege for us to help organize this event for the last 21 years and we look forward to not only continuing it for another 21 years, but continuing to look for new ways to improve it and help more people in our community,” Riggan said. “The wonderful thing about how this event is organized, is that ALL of the donations stay in Muscatine County.”

For those who need assistance this holiday season, contact the Salvation Army of Muscatine at 563-263-8272, send a Message through their Facebook page, @TSAMuscatine, or stop by the office at 1000 Oregon Street.

“It’s great that this community responds accordingly and in abundance when people need it the most,” Bock said. “So many in Muscatine open up their hearts and give…they show a heart of gratitude and compassionate care for everyone.”