NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - We met Metro Sergeant Bonita Blue de Vault on an unfinished floor of the Family Resource Center at 610 Murfreesboro Pike.
The building adjacent to Metro Police Headquarters was serving as a temporary storage space for the back-to-school supply giveaway she started three years ago.
"We have multiplication cards, we have folders, as we go through the maze we have spiral notebooks," Sergeant de Blue explained as she walked us through the piles of backpacks, school supplies, and hygiene items for metro students and their families.
"This is my elementary backpack," the veteran officer continued. "They're gonna have dry erase markers, crayons, papers, folders. Forget about COVID. We want to make sure they have an awesome first start."
After years working as an S.R.O. inside Metro Schools and seeing her fellow school resource officers spend their own money on students, the wife and mother of two was given the opportunity to coordinate help community-wide. She was given a new title at MNPD, Community Coordinator for the Youth Services Division and the Schools Resource Unit.
One of her key initiatives became the Back-to-School Bash, for which she collects and distributes school supplies and hygiene items.
"Lowe's was awesome enough to partner with me," explained the TSU accounting and business major. "In each one of these buckets there are hygiene items, dish soap, sanitizing wipes. If a family was struggling with school supplies, we figure they need items to keep their families safe. How can a child concentrate in school when they're worried about basic items? Let us take that stress off of children."
The massive giveaway has grown from 300 kids served, to 525 in its second year, to this year helping 2000 students and their families.
Next year Sgt. Blue de Vault has been tasked with the loftiest goal yet -- 40,000 kids, half of Davidson County.
"When you have that heart, and you have that spirit, people do not mind coming out and helping you."
Sergeant Blue de Vault needs storage space, forklifts, and lots of volunteers to help with both next year's giveaway and the year-round youth and family emergency closet she keeps stocked for fellow officers and the families they serve.
If you would like to help Sgt. Bonita Blue de Vault's cause, you can email her at Bonita.firstname.lastname@example.org.