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When Bentley Anderson, 6, learned that his school’s former resource officer had died in the line of duty, the Gladeville Elementary kindergartener’s first thought was to help Deputy Curtis Bartlett’s family.
“When he came to school, he always had a smile,” Anderson said of Bartlett on Wednesday. “He made sure all the kids were safe. He’d take his dog and walk it all around the school.”
Last Sunday, Anderson enlisted his mom in making blue-and-black ribbons, which they are selling for $1, with proceeds going to Bartlett’s family.
“When I’m not at work, I’ve been making ribbons,” said his mother, Heather Ring.
“We’ve made over 100,” Anderson chimes in.
They’ve made so many that they’ve cleared out all the blue and black ribbon on Walmart’s shelves and need more to fill orders.
Ring hopes someone will donate materials to make more. She’s already sent them all over Virginia and North Carolina, to West Virginia and as far as Massachusetts and Oklahoma.
They’ve made multiple sizes and styles, including cord bracelets. Lacking black ribbon, Anderson even colored in the black stripe himself with a marker on some of them.
On Tuesday, at a viewing for Bartlett at Galax First Baptist Church, Anderson handed out his ribbons to members of the fallen officer’s family.
“Sam, Curtis’ dad, said Bentley was his hero,” said Ring, who went to school with one of Bartlett’s sisters, Faith.
To get a ribbon, Ring says people can contact her by message on Facebook. Her page is “HeatherRing ChrisMcfarland.”
“If they live out of the area, they can give me their address and I’ll mail them a ribbon,” Ring said.
Also, if anyone has ribbon they’d like to donate, Bentley and his mom will be most appreciative.
“I’m going to keep making them as long as people want them,” she said.