Teen makes teddy bears for the families of fallen police officers
A 16-year-old from Florida is creating teddy bears out of fallen police officers' uniforms to help families — particularly children — cope with their loss.
As the daughter of a police officer, Megan O'Grady biggest fear is losing her own father in the line of duty. The teen from Cape Coral created 'Blue Line Bears' to comfort families after five Dallas police officers were killed during one shooting in 2016.
'I decided to make something that children love and it’s ageless . . . teddy bears,' she told CBS Denver. 'People still love them when they’re like 80 something, so I wanted to do [what] people of all ages could love and hold.
When an officer is killed in the line of duty, Megan collects a shirt from his or her department to make a stuffed bear, which she hand sews herself.
She then creates a personalized badge featuring the person's last name and badge number and sews it onto the stuffed bear's stomach.
In a video shared on Facebook by CBS News, Megan explained that she wants the bears to bring comfort to families in their time of need.
'I want them to be able to kind of hold a piece of their loved one again,' she said, 'because the shirts are obviously the most personal part of the job other than the badge itself.'
Megan's nonprofit relies on donations and other contributions, but she never asks for money from the families she is making bears for.
The Florida teen traveled to Colorado on Wednesday to deliver 15 bears to the Adams County Sheriff's Office in honor of the life of Deputy Heath Gumm, who was killed in the line of duty last year.
For her largest single donation to date, she made a bear for each division of the sheriff's office as well as three bears for members of the officer's family.
Since she started her nonprofit, Megan has created 450 teddy bears and traveled to 34 states to personally deliver them.
'The thin blue line community is stronger than any community out there,' she told CBS Denver.
'We are all so closely related and we’re all here for each other, and I just want them to know that there are so many people out there for them who watch out for them no matter what happens and that we all genuinely love them.'
(Story from Daily Mail)