Cape Coral, FL – A police sergeant’s daughter wanted to bring comfort to the families of slain law enforcement officers, so she decided to create hand-sewn teddy bears using the uniforms of fallen heroes.
Megan O’Grady, 15, established Blue Line Bears after five police officers were ambushed and killed in Dallas in July of 2016.
As the daughter of a Florida police sergeant, the murders “hit close to home for me,” Megan told Fox and Friends on Sunday.
“Children of officers killed in the line of duty are oftentimes young, perhaps too young to remember the parent who died,” the Blue Line Bears website said. “For those children, a bear from Blue Line Bears will provide a tangible reminder that their loved one will always be with them.”
Megan began making the keepsake bears in January with the help of her grandmother, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
“It’s like a physical way to hold a parent again,” Megan told Fox and Friends.
Megan building the bears using a uniform shirt sent by the fallen hero’s family. She then stitches the officer’s department patch, a personalized badge, and stripes indicating the officer’s rank onto each bear. Buttons from the shirt become the keepsake’s eyes and nose.
Each bear takes approximately four days to create. Thus far, the teen has delivered a whopping 230 hand-sewn bears to families in 29 states.
“This has been a positive outlet for our family to hopefully raise awareness for the fact that there are families behind the men and women who go out every day,” Megan’s mother, Suzie O’Grady, told Fox and Friends.
Megan’s father, Cape Coral Sergeant Patrick O’Grady, said Megan’s bears not only bring comfort to the families of fallen heroes – they also help to humanize men and women in blue.
“You look at the way police officers are treated throughout the United States – not by all people, but there is a segment that they don’t see the heart behind the badge,” Sgt. O’Grady said. “They don’t see that we have families.”
“It’s remarkable to see her have such purpose,” Suzie told the Orlando Sentinel. “To see that she can make a difference in the world at her age is inspiring to us as parents.”
“All profits go back into Blue Line Bears and towards making the bears for families,” Megan told Fox and Friends.