ALTON - On this Thanksgiving Day, there was a local boy who made a difference in the lives of the less fortunate in the region with his own teenage hands. Drey Ballard, 14, of Moro, collected more than 3,500 cans of food for both the Community Hope Center in Cottage Hills.

Drey is a member of Scout Troop 777 based out of Rosewood Heights, but this year because of the COVID-19-Pandemic, the canned good drive was canceled. Drey worried the people the Community Hope Center services might not have enough food this holiday season. Drey decided to soldier out on his own and in end, he had more than 3,000 cans of food for these charities. Drey is a First Class Boy Scout.

Todd Ballard said he and his wife, Laura, were as proud as they could be of their 14-year-old son for his kind heart and food drive for the impoverished.

"The Community Hope Center said they were especially grateful for the numerous cases of peanut butter and couldn't get over that one boy collected all the food in a little over the week," Todd said.

Drey Ballard said after touring the Community Hope Center that he hopes there won't be people hungry now because of his effort.

"People are more in need of food than ever and we can all make a difference," Drey said.

Todd Ballard said about 300 additional cans were brought in on Friday, so they will have to make another trip to the Community Hope Center with food.

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