STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO
GRANITE SHOALS — The Granite Shoals Police Department’s boat is used for various purposes on Lake LBJ, including helping stranded boaters and ensuring public safety.
But, on Wednesday, Aug. 15, the boat has a new assignment — on land.
The department is hosting Fill the Boat!, a school supplies fundraiser from 7 a.m.-6 p.m. at the station, 410 N. Phillips Ranch Road.
Officer Christie Carter suggested the program to city leaders and noted the event is so much more than ensuring students have the supplies they need as they get ready to return to school.
“There needs to be a good relationship between the police department and community,” she said. “I didn’t know they didn’t do (a school supplies drive). The community as a whole, we’re trying to work together and give back.”
Granite Shoals is the home of Highland Lakes Elementary School, but Carter said people can donate school supplies for students of all ages. Lists are available at stores selling supplies to make it easier for shoppers.
People aren’t limited to purchasing items for students, the officer added, noting many teachers also could use a hand.
“Teachers have to buy their own supplies,” she said.
While Fill the Boat! is Aug. 15, people can drop off donations anytime leading up to Saturday, Aug. 18. On that day from 10 a.m.-noon, volunteers will hand out supplies at Highland Lakes Elementary School, 8200 RR 1431 West.
When Carter shared her idea, a suggestion was made to fill a patrol vehicle, but organizers decided the boat would be a better vessel for giving.
As Carter leaned on the boat’s rail and looked inside the craft, she envisioned how much it could hold.
“Three hundred pounds,” she said.
That would ensure students and teachers have a good start to the school year.
“We don’t want them to do without,” she said.
While on duty, she has met several residents, including children. One child asked her about getting the “bad guys,” which illustrated why this event was so special to her.
“We want them to know we’re not here just to arrest people,” she said. “We want to give back.”