When Officer Cody Gray was asked by his lieutenant at the Kalkasha Police Department in Michigan what could be done with a batch of more than 100 police uniforms from the early 90s, his wife came up with a genius idea.
Eva suggested that teddy bears be made out of the old cop uniforms and they can then be given to children. “I’ve dubbed them patrol bears,” Eva told InsideEdition.com.
The plush bears started with a prototype and took about six hours each to make, using a pattern Eva found at a craft store using makeshift fabric taken from the shirt and pants of one uniform.
She has now simplified the process so that it takes 2.5 hours to transform one uniform into a bear, and the bears are dressed in their own replicas of the Kalkasha police uniform that even includes a stripe lining down the pant leg and a patch on the tummy.
The bears are filled with stuffing that’s been donated to Eva from members of the community, and the bears will be handed out to children who have been victims of a crime- those involved in accidents or who are experiencing a family tragedy.
“We took it in to show the lieutenant and he absolutely loved it,” Eva said. “We haven’t fully discussed what instances [they] are going to be able to use these for. I think the officers will just know when a child needs a bear,” she continued.
Officer Gray said, “The teddy bears are going to kids when they’re at the most vulnerable when they need something extra to help them get through an event,” he said. “I think it’s going to be great to give these to the kids so they can feel better in a bad situation.”
While Eva already has a full-time job and three children to raise, she will not be able to make bears for other departments with their uniforms unless she receives a grant of some sort. Eva’s plan is to make enough to put two bears in each patrol car for the officers to hand out, which is a total of more than 140 bears. “It seems pretty neat to me because then the child will have a piece of the officer,” Eva said.
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[Featured Image Credit: YouTube- Inside Edition via Eva Gray]