WACO, TX — One 11-year-old girl from Louisiana isn’t staying in The Boot of our country much, as she made it her mission years ago to travel across the United States, and give as many law enforcement officers as many hugs as she can.
This vision Rosalyn Baldwin says came from God after she watched multiple officers die and get injured in Dallas back in 2006.
Now, in her A Hug for Love campaign, she hopes to change the negative narrative some may have when they think of police officers, with one hug at a time.
“It’s not because I like to give it to them, it’s because I think they need it,” the young girl explained. “Sometimes they get hate and not all of them are bad.”
Rosalyn has hugged officers in 35 states, now adding Central Texas to her list.
Offering simple embraces, something many of us could not do for a while due to COVID-19.
So, when local law enforcement heard she was coming to town, dozens of officers showed up to receive one of their own.
“I was actually really excited,” Rosalyn said thinking back when she saw all of the officers waiting to meet her. “I was also a little overwhelmed, but really excited!”
One of the faces to greet her was Sheriff Parenll McNamara of McLennan County.
“Rosalyn, thank you so much,” McLennan County Sheriff Parnell McNamara said. “You are certainly a beacon of hope in a time when we really need it.”
With smiling faces filling the room, it was clear to see that most folks receiving the hugs sure did feel the same way.
“Today was very encouraging to see a young lady with so much love in her heart to come and show law enforcement officers that we are appreciated,” Waco Police Chief Sheryl Victorian explained.
Chief Victorian explained that there may be a gap between law enforcement and the community, so having someone out of uniform on their side feels good.
“The majority of us that put on this uniform are out there for the right reasons, wanting to protect and serve our communities,” she said. “To have somebody that is not wearing this badge to see that is just absolutely amazing.”
Which leaves Baldwin with one message to anyone risking their lives every day.
”You are loved, you are important and well to keep doing your job,” she said smiling.
Baldwin said she’s not sure where she's going next, but New Mexico is on her list.