KALKASKA, Mich. (KABC) —
The wife of a Michigan police officer is using retired police uniforms to help children who are dealing with traumatic situations.
“It just kind of popped in my head, ‘Well, why don’t we make teddy bears for children that need a little extra something special?'” said Eva Gray.
Gray has been snipping and stitching to make the bears.
“I actually use almost all of the uniform,” she said.
She uses the retired pants for the teddy bear bodies, the retired shirts for the teddy bear coats, the buttons for the eyes, all the way down to the little details.
“I actually have been able to incorporate the signature lines from the police officer uniforms into the bears,” Gray said.
The uniforms date back to the early 1990s, reports WWTV. Kalkaska Police Lt. Glenn Artress remembers when the retired uniforms in the basement used to be his everyday get-up.
“I started in 1991 and I’m sure there’s a pair of pants and a shirt down there that I wore then,” he said.
Each bear takes Gray about 2 1/2 hours, but the more she makes, the quicker she gets.
The best part? Officers will give these bears to children involved in critical incidents, a car crash, or experiencing family trouble.
“In times of critical incidents, children become very upset and sometimes they can get the view that the police might be against them, and we really want to make sure that they know the police are there to help,” Artress said.
This all started when Artress asked his officers to get creative with what they could do with the retired uniforms, and Gray took the idea home to his wife, and she came up with the bears.
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