Police officers swear an oath to uphold and protect the law, and they’ve readily accepted the fact that putting their life on the line is all just part of the job. But, what about their family members, who live in constant fear that someone will come knocking on their door one day to deliver tragic news?
Unfortunately, 16-year-old Megan O’Grady doesn’t get a say in whether or not her dad gets to play it safe by working behind the desk. Since it’s not really something that other teens her age have to deal with, the bright young woman doesn’t really have an outlet to release those fears. So, she did the next best thing and started cutting up police officers shirts as a poetic justice. Believe it or not, the end result has other families of officers begging Megan to cut up their loved ones shirts, too!
Megan, from Cape Coral, Florida, has a beautifully creative way of coping with the fear of losing her father in the line of duty. She knows there are other kids and teens out there who have to deal with the rollercoaster of emotions that come with being part of a cop family.
After five Dallas police officers bravely gave their lives in 2016, Megan was inspired to create Blue Line Bears to help families of fallen officers keep their loved ones nearby. These hand-sewn cuddly teddy bears are made out of the officer’s actual blue uniform shirts, and hand delivered to mourning families.
When an officer falls in the line of duty, Megan will collect his or her shirt from their department in order to make the stuffed bear. Each and every single teddy is hand sewn, and features a personalized badge that has the person’s last name and badge number attached to the bear’s tummy. In a video with CBS, Megan said:
“I want them to be able to kind of hold a piece of their loved one again, because the shirts are obviously the most personal part of the job other than the badge itself.”
She’s created 450 bears, and traveled to 34 states to gift them in person to little children who find comfort in cuddling up with a very real part of their mom or dad. Although Megan’s nonprofit is kept thriving from donations and contributions, she never asks for a single dime from the families she’s sewing the bears for.
The thin blue line community is one of the strongest out there, and even though everyone doesn’t know each other personally, they’re all still connected to one another by the heart and souls of the brave officers who choose to serve us every single day.
“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.”
Giving a comforting piece of their loved ones to mourning families is making more of a difference than Megan could have ever realized. Her heartwarming actions show that she has a vital role in serving and protecting, too.
Megan’s latest teddy bear delivery is the largest, and sweetest one, yet.