Having a loved one who belongs to the law enforcement profession can leave a family feeling proud and endlessly concerned at the same time. The high-risk nature of their jobs means that their lives could easily be taken away in the line of duty. That is why every moment spent with them must be savored, for you never really know if it will be their last.
Megan O’Grady, a 16-year old girl from Cape Coral, Florida, can relate all too well with this situation, as she herself is a daughter of a police officer. After she learned of the attack in Dallas which took the lives of five police officers, the teenager felt moved to do something for the families of these fallen law enforcement officers. With this, she established a non-profit organization called Blue Line Bears, which creates and delivers personalized teddy bears to the families in mourning.
Megan makes the bears all by herself, and it has been two years since she started production. It usually takes her up to two hours to finish one teddy bear. The materials used include the fallen police officer’s uniform shirt, which she gets from relatives or the police department. To give the stuffed toys a personal quality, she stuffs and sews bears that wear miniature versions of the uniforms, even including the police officer’s name, badge number, and department.
Megan wants to ensure that every family who receives their customized bears will be reminded of the life of their fallen loved ones. The physical presence of a person is irreplaceable, but she hopes that cuddling these teddy bears will alleviate the deep void felt by those who lost one of their own.
So far, Megan has created 454 bears, and Blue Line Bears has already delivered to 36 states.
This year, Megan is pushing to continue her mission of helping the families of fallen law enforcement officers cope with a devastating loss, most especially the children.
“It has been an amazing year for not only me personally but for the development of Blue Line Bears,” she said in a Facebook post. “I’ve been able to help so many families this year and just really push Blue Line Bears to be the best that it can be. I really look forward to this upcoming year and just further developing Blue Line Bears.”
“Part of the reason that I started this was because there’s such a negativity towards police. … It has really lifted my spirits knowing that there are so many people out there who really care about police.”
It is heartwarming to know that there are teenagers like Megan, who at her young age has learned to view the world from a bigger lens. Blue Line Bears is an extraordinary idea rooted from a girl’s pure compassion and love towards her community, and we hope that she inspires other people to give back to their own communities in any way they can.
Watch the video below by NowThis to learn more about Megan’s story.