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Quilters Enable Police Officers to Comfort Children

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Photo Credit: Tom Schultheis

Story originally published by KY3.

Operation Squad Car has one purpose: to comfort kids during scary times. Connie Bradford, a member of the Ozark Piecemakers Quilt Guild in Springfield, Missouri, started a project that strives to put one child-size quilt in every one of the 60 squad cars that patrol the area.

"I literally flagged the officer down and asked him about my idea of putting a child-size quilt in every squad car, actually two, and he thought it was a wonderful idea," Bradford told KY3.

After recruiting other volunteers from her guild and the Community Quilts guild, Bradford made a goal of sewing 120 quilts in six months, however that goal was recently surpassed by 10 quilts and growing.

Bradford received inspiration for starting this project from her own service as a firefighter, having a clear understanding of the daunting events some children endure, including removal from their homes or involvement in a car accident.

Officer Chris Laughlin says about giving children a quilt, "It kind of opens them up a little bit, and they're able to relay a little bit more information for us, which is beneficial."

Above all, Operation Squad Car hopes to warm young hearts. "Sometimes DFS has to go in and pull a child, and sometimes they don't even have clothes on, but you can wrap them up in a quilt, and they got some comfort going on, and that's what it's all about too, is comfort for these kids," Bradford says.