Seattle-area radio hosts bring Christmas joy through toy drive

Seattle-area radio hosts bring Christmas joy through toy drive

Moug and Angie Mornings Toy Drive benefits The Salvation Army’s Christmas Toy ‘N Joy efforts in the Pacific Northwest.

Moug and Angie Mornings on Seattle’s Star 101.5 co-host John Moug hadn’t left the top of the 15-feet of scaffolding at The Outlet Collection mall in Auburn, Washington, for eight days. That was until his co-host, Angie Morales, stepped in for the weekend.

From Nov. 10-21 the pair broadcasted from the scaffolding—and alternated living in a small treehouse constructed for the occasion—all in the name of collecting toys and bikes for kids in need through their inaugural Moug and Angie Mornings Toy Drive, which benefited The Salvation Army Northwest Division’s Christmas Toy ‘N Joy efforts.

Moug said the idea for the drive initially came from a radio friend in Las Vegas who, for many years, had gone live from on top of scaffolding for 12 days collecting toys, bikes, cash and gift cards for those in need.

“When the opportunity to bring something that made so much noise and could help so many people came up, we thought, ‘Why not bring this to the Pacific Northwest and spread some joy and really help some families here locally during the holiday season?’” Moug said.

The Salvation Army Northwest Divisional Director of Corporate Engagement Lisa Borders said the drive was a fun take on the radio stunts that were popular in the past, noting one fan of the station even dressed as Santa Claus and stood next to the scaffolding to wave at people as they were coming in.

“There’s nobody in Seattle doing those types of promotions,” Borders said. “It was surprising and unexpected and quirky. And all those fun things that made people pay attention.”

Seattle-area radio hosts bring Christmas joy through toy drive

Photo courtesy Northwest Division.

And the community showed up. On Nov. 21, the Northwest Division announced the drive raised more than $8,000 in cash and gift cards in addition to 129 bikes and three jump boxes full of toys for Seattle-area families in need of gifts.

Borders said Virginia Mason Medical Center donated $1,500 so every child who receives a bike will also get a bike helmet to be safe.

“It’s been pretty incredible seeing people out here in the Pacific Northwest be so kind and generous to their own community,” Moug said.

Morales said the cause is personal for the pair since both benefited from toy drives as children of single moms.

“There were a few rough years there when my mom, his mom—they didn’t know where they were going to be able to get Christmas presents to make the holidays happen for us as kids. And that’s not something that’s fun for a child to go through,” Morales said. “A toy drive came and saved the day for us when we were little and now that we’re grown, we’d like to be able to make the holidays happen for kids who really need it.”

This year, amid rising inflation and housing costs in addition to large-scale tech layoffs in the area, the need for bringing Christmas joy through toys remains, said Borders.

“There is always a great need,” Borders said. “The toys we received from the Moug and Angie Mornings Toy Drive will all go to fulfill wishes of the kids who’ve signed up in King County.”

Borders noted The Salvation Army’s long-standing partnership with Northwest News Radio, KVI 570 AM and Star 101.5, with some individuals from the stations serving on The Salvation Army’s King County Advisory Board.

“They’re just a great team member,” Borders said. “They believe in our cause, and they want to support us.”

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Hillary Jackson

Hillary Jackson is Managing Editor of Caring, where she keeps her finger on the pulse of The Salvation Army and her eyes on the day’s headlines—all in the name of creating smart, impactful content that prompts action. With an insatiable love of information and heart for the underdog, she believes stories to be one of the best ways to understand and empathize with others. Hillary has worked around the world covering the Olympic Games, and her words have appeared in outlets including Washington Post, The Week, The Muse and Architectural Digest. Hillary holds a master’s degree in journalism from USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. She was a finalist for a pair of National Arts and Entertainment Journalism (NAEJ) Awards as well as for the Religion Newswriters Association’s Chandler Student Award for “The PK Project,” a multimedia experience chronicling the stereotypes facing preacher’s kids versus reality. When she’s not word slinging, you’ll find her walking her West Highland Terrier, Nessie.