If you would like more information on supporting Silas in his efforts or about the ministry of Operation Christmas Child, you can contact Kate Radford or Silas Radford at 573-502-9182 and you can visit his facebook page — LOZ Toy Drive  

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Silas Radford became a Cub Scout at the age of 5 because his dad wanted him to. Now, 12 years later, he is a member of Scout Troop 29 in Camdenton and a resident of Gravois Mills. He is about to obtain the most prestigious honor of Scouts BSA by becoming an Eagle Scout, an achievement only about 6% of all Scouts accomplish.

This performance-based achievement has high standards that not everyone will earn. There are 21 merit badges required to become an Eagle Scout, and Radford has earned 17 to date. In addition, a candidate must also complete an Eagle Scout Service Project that requires him to plan, develop and lead others in a service project that will benefit an organization. Radford didn’t hesitate to choose Operation Christmas Child, a project he has been involved with his entire life.

The Samaritan’s Purse project Operation Christmas Child collects shoeboxes—filled with fun toys, school supplies and hygiene items—and delivers them to children in need around the world to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way.

“I have been packing Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes with my mom my entire life, so it was a natural fit for me to make OCC my service project,” Silas said. Radford’s mom, Kate, is a year-round volunteer for Operation Christmas Child and serves as the Community Coordinator for the Lake of the Ozarks team.

Radford will be leading his fellow troop members in a Toy Drive to collect 500 toys that will be donated to the Lake of the Ozarks Operation Christmas Child Area Team. The team will then pack the toys into shoebox gifts at one of their 3 community packing parties later this year.

Lake of the Ozarks area residents can help Radford in his efforts by purchasing new, shoebox sized toys, such as cars, slinkys, footballs, Barbie dolls, stuffed animals etc. and dropping them off at LOZ Gaming located at 830 N Business Route 5 in Camdenton by April 30th.

“Scouts has helped me learn things for my future profession and get ahead with mastering niche skills. When I achieved my First Aid Merit Badge, it made me want to go into the medical field,” Radford said. “The OCC Toy Drive is a way that I can give back by doing something for an organization that I know well, OCC, and have been doing my entire life and help other kids.”

And Radford will continue giving back even after he becomes an Eagle Scout. On May 10th, he will leave for Ft. Sill in Oklahoma to begin his basic training, and from there he will head to Ft. Sam Houston in Texas, where he will begin Combat Medic Training.