Western Springs Scout organizes toy collection
Justin Ambrose collected toys for the Toy Box Connection in Orland Park. | Tamara Bell~Sun Times Media
Updated: July 15, 2012 6:25AM
Justin Ambrose has just finished a very exciting project.
The 14-year-old Boy Scout from Western Springs decided to organize a toy drive for his service project and for the past month has collected toys for children who are less fortunate.
He worked with a south suburban nonprofit organization called Toy Box Connection Children’s Charity. Toy Box Connection’s goal is to touch the lives of children through the gift of a toy or book. People donate new and used toys and books to Toy Box Connection in order to make this goal achievable.
“I want to be able to collect enough toys and books that we are able to give them to children during times besides Christmas,” says Ambrose. “My goal is to fill 11 floors of the new Ronald McDonald hospital.”
Ambrose collected more than 2,000 toys and books over the month.
He put a collection box in four different schools: John Laidlaw Elementary, Field Park Elementary, Forest Hills Elementary and McClure Junior High School. A fifth collection box was put in the Western Springs Starbucks Coffee store. Ambrose also emailed the parents of the schools asking for donations and explaining his project.
Ambrose has been a member of Boy Scout Troop 12 for the past three years. Sponsored by the First Congregational Church of Western Springs, Troop 12 serves boys in Western Springs, Indian Head Park, La Grange and LaGrange Highlands.
“I became a Boy Scout because I thought Cub Scouts was fun. I will definitely stay involved in high school,” said Ambrose, who will be a freshman this fall at St. Ignacious College Prep.
Ambrose said there are five patrols of seven people, or about 35 to 40 people total, in Troop 12. More than 100 boys in the troop have achieved the Eagle Scout rank.
That is not an easy task. Once a Boy Scout have achieved rank as a Life Scout, that Life Scout has to undergo a process to become an Eagle Scout. A Life Scout must be an active member of his troop for a time period of six months and demonstrate that he has lived by the principals of the Scout Oath and Law. A Life Scout must earn 21 merit badges. He must then plan, develop and give leadership to others in a service project of his choice.