By Joel Hillan

CASTLE ROCK, Colo. (CBS4) — On New Year’s Eve morning 2017, Douglas County Sheriff’s Deputy Zackari Parrish was shot and killed responding to a call at the Copper Canyon Apartments in Highlands Ranch. The community came together, giving in extraordinary ways to the Parrish family and the Douglas County Sheriff’s office.

Since that day, Rachel Sears has been working on a labor of love for the family.

“I wanted to create something to provide a level of comfort and to show the Parrish family that this is a big family and she is never going to be without.”

parrish quilts 3 Quilter Sews Message Of Warmth, Support To Deputys Widow, Daughters

Rachel put out a call on Facebook for patches from law enforcement, and the quilting supplies came pouring in. So much so that the mailbox was no longer an option for the postman.

“He would come with a white basket, knock on the door and say here you go. I’d just spread them out. It was like Christmas every day for probably a month and a half to two months, getting patches.”

parrish quilts 2 Quilter Sews Message Of Warmth, Support To Deputys Widow, Daughters

(credit – CBS4)

There were so many patches from law enforcement agencies from across the U.S. and Canada that Rachel was able to make four, giant quilts, each with 200-300 patches.

“I could not have done it without the help of the community, they were a huge part. I put everything together, but they added the puzzle pieces to make it complete.”

And over the course of ten and a half months it all came together on a single sewing machine.

Rachel hopes that the blankets send a clear message to Zack’s girls.

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“To know that their dad was loved, that he was supported and that the police family is bigger than any of us think that it is.”

And that each patch reminds his widow Gracie, she is not alone.

“She’s got her faith, she’s got her family and she has her thin blue line family.”

parrish quilts 4 Quilter Sews Message Of Warmth, Support To Deputys Widow, Daughters

(credit – CBS4)

The quilts are scheduled to be delivered to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Monday morning.

Joel Hillan anchors CBS4 This Morning on weekends as well as reports stories for CBS4 News at 5 and 6 p.m. Follow Joel on Twitter @joelhillan.

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