Kellie Abbott is taking time this summer to continue the senior project she started a year ago at Haughton High School.
Abbott, 18, created Blue Forever in 2013 to raise money through t-shirt sales in order to purchase and supply local police departments with special anti-bleeding kits. Today, she is the CEO of Blue Forever, Inc., a recognized non-profit organization that supplies police departments and law enforcement agencies around the country with these life saving kits.
“I never thought it would be this successful, but I’m really happy with the way it turned out,” Abbott said.
Blue Forever, Inc. works to increase the awareness for Police Officers Safety, and to raise funds for purchasing lifesaving Belt Trauma Kits (BTK*) for law enforcement officers throughout the United States. Each kit contains gloves, a CPR shield, SWAT-T pressure tourniquet and QuikClot Combat Gauze LE, a flexible material used to temporarily control traumatic external bleeding.
The idea for Blue Forever, Inc. came after reading a news article about them and was intrigued by their life saving capabilities for soldiers and police officers. It was then that she wondered if the kit could have made a difference in saving the life of family friend and Shreveport Police Sergeant Tim Prunty, a 19 year veteran who bled to death from a gunshot wound to the leg while on duty in Oct. 2010.
This month, Abbott collected more than $4,900 in just six days from several Bossier Parish schools, businesses and the community members wanting to help her cause. That money will be used to purchase 90 Belt Trauma Kits, which will be given to School Resource Officers with Bossier Schools, the Franklinton, La. police department and to the Beach Haven Police Department in New Jersey.
“Law enforcement officers wake up every day and willingly protect our neighborhoods,” Abbott said. “They deserve to have every piece of safety equipment available to protect them. Having a Belt Trauma Kit provides an officer the best chance to return home to their family after each shift.”
There are several ways the public can help their local law enforcement agencies. The first is by donating any amount to help purchase a Belt Trauma Kit (each cost $67.50).
Also, businesses can wear BLUE or blue jeans for a donation from each employee.
Then there are the Blue Forever t-shirts, available online in short or long sleeve in adult small through 3XL, for $15 to $25. Abbott has sold shirts to people across the state and around the country, from New Mexico to Washington and everywhere in between.
Monetary donations are also accepted through the Blue Forever, Inc. website. Ultimately, Abbott wants to help agencies prevent unnecessary deaths from traumatic injuries.
“You never actually want to see it used, but it’s out there now and ready to use if the time comes,” she said.
In the future, Abbott plans to incorporate Blue Forever, Inc. with Z-Medica’s “Stop the Bleeding Coalition and she hopes to organize more local events to raise awareness about the cause.
Abbott is a 2013 graduate of Haughton High School and currently a sophomore at Mississippi State University, majoring in biochemistry with a minor in forensic science. Visit www.blueforever.org or www.facebook.com/blueforeverinc for more information on how to help save a life.