BONIFAY - Two Holmes County E-911 dispatchers are taking advantage of the recent "painted rock" craze for a good cause.
Dispatchers Fallon Braxton and Kylie Lewis are painting and hiding scores of colorful rocks marked "HCSO" in an effort to bolster school supply donations for Holmes County students.
The rocks will be hidden Friday, July 28, with a $100 Visa gift card awarded to whomever has found the most HCSO rocks when the hunt ends at 4 p.m. Monday, July 31.
To enter, participants simply need to drop off a school supply donation at either the Holmes County Sheriff's Office or the Holmes County Dispatch Center. Clues can be picked up at the Holmes County Dispatch Center after 3 p.m. Friday. Rocks are to be turned into the dispatch center by the 4 p.m. deadline. The winner will be announced that day via the sheriff's office Facebook page, as well as by a phone call to the winner.
Fallon Braxton states she got the idea for the project while trying to think of a way to get the community involved in helping local school children - and after noticing how popular the painted rock activity had become.
"I decided to give the community something fun to do while helping others who can't help themselves," said Braxton.
Braxton, a Holmes School District substitute teacher who recently completed her education degree, will begin student teaching third grade at Poplar Springs next month.
"I think that sometimes, we are unaware of the degree of need there is in our community," she added. "We know that some people have it better than others, but we aren't always aware of just how badly some families struggle to simply provide what their children need to get an education. It is so important that we give back. Even a pack of crayons will help. The smallest amount someone can give will be a big amount to a child whose family struggles."
The Holmes County Sheriff's Office will be on hand to give out school supplies from 9 a.m. until noon Friday, July 28 at the Ponce de Leon substation, located at 1572 Highway 90, and again at the Doctors Memorial Hospital Back to School Pallooza, which will take place at the hospital campus from 9 a.m. until noon, Friday, August 4.
To donate items, stop by the Holmes County Sheriff's Office at 211 N. Oklahoma Street from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday or 24 hours a day at the Holmes County Dispatch Center, located at 809 Waukesha Street.