Lake and Sumter Style Magazine
6:20 pm EDT
Fri, July 10, 2020

Mount Dora police bring comfort in the form of stuffed bears

When a former police employee sent a hand-stitched stuffed bear made from an old police uniform to Mount Dora Police Chief John O’Grady, a tradition was reborn.

The ex-employee said these “comfort bears” were made in the 1990s to help children, and the police chief saw that the need to comfort children still exists in the community. With a stash of old uniforms and a group of enthusiastic volunteers, 26 new bears were created, a news release states.

Beginning this weekend, Mount Dora police officers will distribute the handmade comfort bears to children as officers respond to calls such as domestic violence and child abuse.

Mount Dora police volunteers spent about 200 hours making the bears from police uniforms that are no longer in service.

“It’s a wonderful gift and a great use of material,” John says. “I want to thank the citizens of Mount Dora and our eight volunteers that came forward and put these together for us.”

The department hopes to continue to make the comfort bears every year for children in need, city Public Information Officer Lisa McDonald says.