In reaction to the catastrophe, Maggie Wadsager of the Quad Cities decided she would take it upon herself to help those in Washington this holiday season.
“I am a mother of four and I couldn’t imagine losing everything I had just five weeks before Christmas,” said Wadsager.
On November 18th – just one day after the tornado – Maggie started a Facebook page titled Hope Creek Cares. The page reached out to those in the Quad City area – asking for contributions to families who were impacted by the tornado.
Gifts started piling in. Donation drop offs were located at Hope Creek in East Moline and the Zimmerman Honda locations.
Four weeks, one-thousand brand new toys, and $1800 worth of gift cards later – a semi-trailer filled with toys is ready to make a delivery to Washington.
After a 100 mile drive, the truck full of toys arrived at it’s two destinations: Threads, Hope, & Love and Camp Good News.
At the drop of the lift on the semi-trailer, a loud clunk welcomed several boxes filled with toys.
As volunteers at Camp Good News helped unload the toys – smiles were prominent among those giving.
8-year-old Jeremy Colburn rode in the semi with his dad on the way to Washington. He helped load and unload boxes of toys for children his age.
“Well a lot of houses got knocked down so it feels like we should help them out and give them nice things,” he continued, “I feel good about doing this,” said Colburn.
Families at Camp Good News awaited in a large room upstairs that played Christmas music and had arts and crafts for children. Families were then called downstairs ten at a time to pick out up to three gifts.
When families walked into the room, they were greeted by toys for all ages stacked on table.
Jim Kellerstrass is a volunteer with Camp Good News in Washington. He said this grateful event wouldn’t have been possible without the donations from the people in the Quad Cities.
“About 350 children will have Christmas through the toys given,” said Kellerstrass.
The joy that was brought to these families in this trying holiday season will stick with the Hope Creek Cares volunteers.
Sara Sparrowgrove – one of the organizers of Hope Creek Cares – looked around the room as she smiled.
“This just makes you feel amazing,” said Sparrowgrove.
That feeling being delivered from the QC to the devastated town of Washington. Hoping a little joy can be brought to those who need it most.