Last week, during the first week of Two Weeks of Love, Muscatine residents provided food for the Salvation Army in Muscatine. The items donated will be used to help cover immediate needs during the holidays, and after that will stock the shelves of the food pantry that serves Muscatine area residents throughout the year.

Residents receive assistance from the Salvation Army for a variety of reasons. Services include emergency assistance with utilities and food baskets, and other emergency services may be provided on a case-by-case basis. Meals are provided for lunch on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

During the second week of Two Weeks of Love, new, unwrapped toys can be delivered to the Hawkeye Hauler, located in Krieger’s parking lot at 501 W Bypass 61.

Toys collected will go to families from various situations and stages of life.

Families like Olivia’s. Olivia is going through a divorce and is the mother of three children. Through a combination of child support and her part-time job, Olivia is able to pay the bills each month, though it is tight.

Olivia is going to school to be a nurse, with hopes of providing a better life for her children when she has completed her education. Olivia works hard, but the thought of trying to fit Christmas gifts and a holiday meal into her already tight budget is too much to bear.

The Salvation Army has removed some of that pressure from Olivia and her children this holiday season.  The toys received through the Angel Tree program will help provide a happy holiday for the children, and the food they receive will be enough for both the Christmas day meal and several days following.

Olivia was hesitant to ask for assistance, but once she did, she felt a great sense of relief.

The Salvation Army also provides assistance to adults. Steve is a single man who takes care of his elderly mother, Janice. Steve is able to provide for himself and Janice, but he was concerned about the Christmas meal. Steve contacted the Salvation Army and requested assistance.

Though no toys will be provided, as no children are in the home, Steve and Janice will receive a food basket. Included in the basket will be food for a complete holiday meal, as well as some extras.

The Salvation Army is able to provide assistance to Olivia, Steve, and many other families through donations that they collect during the Red Kettle Campaign.

The campaign will take place through Christmas Eve. Donations can be placed in kettles placed around town, or sent directly to the Salvation Army at 1000 Oregon St.

Angels can be found on Angel Trees around town. Toys can be delivered to the Hawkeye Hauler before Friday, December 9, or taken to the Salvation Army before December 18.