A Florida teen is bringing comfort to families across the country during the worst time in their lives. Taking the uniforms of fallen officers, 15-year-old Megan O'Grady, is turning them into teddy bears for the families that have been left behind.
Megan's inspiration came when she was required to write an essay in school about "something she believed in." As the daughter of a Florida police officer, she was inspired by her father's work.
“Police officers aren’t treated as respectfully as they should be treated,” Megan said.
Last July, a peaceful protest in Dallas turned deadly when 12 officers were shot and 5 were killed. This prompted Megan to create Blue Line Bears and try to bring some comfort to the families during the tragedy.
With the help of her grandmother, Megan takes the uniform shirts and turns them into the teddy bears, using the officers' patches on the bears' arms, the buttons are used for the eyes and she embroiders their name and badge number on the bears' chest. She also stitches their End of Watch Date on the bears' foot.
Each bear also is given a St. Michael medal, which is typically wore by officers as a prayer for protection. Each one is blessed by a priest, free of charge, before the family receives it.
“They’re a piece of the family member that they lost. And obviously you can’t bring them back. That’s something I wish I could do, but I can’t. But it’s kind of a way to remember them,” Megan said.
Donations to the organization cover the cost of materials as well as shipping, and the results are a wonderful keepsake for the families.