Haughton teen ramps up fundraising efforts to improve officer safety with 'belt trauma kits'

HAUGHTON, LA (KSLA) - Inspired by tragedy, a Haughton teen's mission to equip police officers with life saving tools has grown from a school project to a state recognized non-profit.

18-year-old Kellie Abbott's non-profit organization "Blue Forever" has grown quickly in its first year of existence, "It's absolutely an amazing feeling," said Abbott.

Through T-shirt sales, the group is able to buy belt trauma kits for police officers. "The benefits to belt trauma kits is mostly the combat gauze, which can help save a person's life or buy them time for the ambulance to get there," said Abbott and explained they recently got some help with a generous business donation of 1-thousand T-shirts. That business wants to remain anonymous,"It makes a big difference, it's like a $6,000.00 donation and that's amazing," she said.

Abbott started the organization as a senior project at Haughton High School in honor of Shreveport Police Officer Tim Prunty, a family friend fatally shot in the line of duty three years ago. "Matt, Tim's twin brother is very excited about it and he's glad his brother Tim is really living on through my fundraiser," she said.

Blue Forever has recently caught the attention of Brooke Lowe, the state director of Wives Behind the Badge. "Everyone that is involved with Wives Behind the Badge has a personal connection with a law enforcement officer and we want to do everything we can to keep them safe," Lowe said and added that she hopes to get all 45 Desoto Sheriff's Deputies outfitted with the belt trauma kits.

Blue Forever has donated 10 kits to Desoto Parish Deputies so far, but to cover the rest, Wives Behind the Badge need to sell 135 shirts. Once they reach that goal, the group wants to help spread Blue Forever statewide. Abbott appreciates Lowe's support, "It's a blessing to be able to have someone on my side," she said.

So far, through the sale of the shirts, the non-profit has been able to purchase 235 belt trauma kits for police officers in our area.If you want to help the organization out, click here to find out how.