As many search for the silver linings in the sadness, one local police officer, who is also a military veteran, is looking to bring comfort to children through special dolls created in the likeness of a loved one.
Samantha Vargas of Belleville said her company, Hearts + Heroes, has been years in the making. While she and her husband served in the military, Vargas said they were looking for a comfort piece to give to their kids to help them through the times when they were away. But Vargas and her husband were surprised at what they found. “The teddy bear is nice, but it doesn’t really represent us,” said Vargas, noting that she saw teddy bears wearing pink bow-ties and others brandishing weapons. “In reality, that’s not what we do.”
Frustrated with the lack of options, Vargas set her mind on a new mission: to create dolls that mimicked a parent or a loved one who were in the military or first responders.