MORO - The area Boy Scouts canceled their annual canned food drive this fall because of the COVID-19 Pandemic, but there was a member of Scout Troop 777 based out of Rosewood Heights - Drey Ballard - who soldiered on with his quest. Drey resides in Moro.

Fourteen-year-old Drey Ballard is a definite Difference Maker in the Riverbend region. Drey knew this would be a tough year for the food pantries, and proceeded with the project on his own and has collected at least 2,000-plus canned goods for the impoverished. He wants to collect more before the holidays and asks that people continue to deliver them to Community Hope Center in Cottage Hills and the Crisis Food Center in Alton.

Todd Ballard, his father, works as a deputy Madison County Coroner as an investigator. Todd is so proud of his son and said he has real compassion for people. Drey is adopted and he has told his dad he is worried and upset about people going hungry during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Todd said he and Drey's mom, Laura, could not be more proud of their son for his compassion for others.

“My son is so polite and nice and when he asks for cans,” his dad said. "It is impossible for anyone to turn him down."

Drey is a First Class Boy Scout and has aspirations of being an Eagle Scout. Todd Ballard has inspired his son because he is an Eagle Scout.

Todd said next week he will join his son and deliver the canned goods, but he asked anyone else who wishes to contribute to Drey's cause to either the Community Hope Center or Crisis Food Center and mention it is because of his can collection drive.

Todd said late Friday that his entire subdivision got involved in his son’s canned food drive and brought in more than 1,000 additional cans to go with the 1,000 he had already collected. Now, Drey will have more than 2,000 canned goods to take to the food pantries next week. He said he will provide a photograph when the canned goods are delivered next week and also said he was so thankful to subdivision members for what they did in the drive.

In difficult times of the COVID-19 Pandemic, Drey Ballard is a positive sign that there is hope ahead for our youth of today and future adults.

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