COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (CBS4) – Megan O’Grady helped honor the life of a fallen Colorado police officer on Jan. 2 by delivering over a dozen teddy bears to the Adams County Sheriff’s office. These bears are a part of her nonprofit organization with a mission to comfort the loved ones of fallen officers.
The 16 year-old from Florida started Blue Line Bears two years ago after witnessing five Dallas police officers get killed in one shooting. For this daughter of a police officer, she knew how hard it is to console a family who no longer has someone like her father. Since then, she has hand-sewn a teddy bear for every individual family member of fallen officers across the nation.
“I decided to make something that children love and it’s ageless… teddy bears, people still love them when they’re like 80 something, so I wanted to do that people of all ages could love and hold.”
O’Grady doesn’t always get to travel for her presentations but came all the way from Florida to honor the life of Adams County Deputy Heath Gumm who was killed in line of duty last year. In the largest single donation for one fallen officer, she delivered 15 Blue Line Bears. O’Grady made one bear for each division of the Adams County Sheriff’s Office, and three for the family of Gumm. She hoped that this kind gesture would help them get through each day.
The sheriff presented O’Grady with a check as a donation to her nonprofit, but she makes the bears without asking for any money in return.
These bears have been helpful in comforting the families, and have especially impacted the youngest loved ones of law enforcement. O’Grady said that one child struggled to sleep in her own bed until she received her bear. She hopes that the bears will symbolize the larger support group there for anyone facing this grief.
“The thin blue line community is stronger than any community out there,” she said. “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.”
So far, O’Grady has made 450 blue line bears by hand and traveled across 34 states to help families across the nation. The bears each represent the loss of a loved one, but all of them together serve as a reminder of the larger blue line family they’re all a part of.
LINK TO: Blue Line Bears Facebook Page