Non-profit makes teddy bears for families of fallen officers

Author: Camila Pereria Writer: Elyssa Morataya
Published: Updated:

Having a loved one in law enforcement means there is always a fear that they may not come home.

“You speak to departments that are just devastated, but it’s a way of giving back to those who sacrificed everything for us,” said Jane Gardiner. “All our heart and soul are put into every stitch we do on these bears.”

That’s why Gardiner joined Blue Line Bears, a non-profit organization that handmakes personalized bears for families who have lost loved ones in service.

The bears take hours to stuff, sew and hand stitch.

“There are patches made, and the actual patch of the police officer’s there,” said Gardiner. “The End of Watch Day is there. The child’s name and the buttons are the buttons off the uniforms. I mean, everything is a big part of their uniform that they wore, so they can always remember them.”

Each bear is a labor of love made from the uniform of the fallen law enforcement officer.

This bear was made for the family of former Charlotte County Sheriff’s deputy Christopher Taylor, who was killed in the line of duty in 2022.

It started with Megan O’Grady, the daughter of a local law enforcement officer.

She wanted to help families in the wake of a 2016 shooting in Dallas, Texas, which took the lives of five officers.

“Megan came to me and asked me if I would help her with a nonprofit if she could get us started,” said Sara Riddle, Megan’s Grandmother, “so I asked her for what, and she said, making bears for fallen police officers. I was very proud and very excited to help her.”

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