SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Amid recent protests and talks of defunding the police, an Isle of Hope woman is using her creativity to show support for local law enforcement.
Pam Braddy spent hours creating 70 of what she calls shell angels for the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office.
“I really felt in my heart that I wanted to do something to let the officers know we love and respect them because it doesn’t seem like many people do in this world, and I just want to do my little part to show them I care,” the 70-year old mother of four told WSAV.com NOW.
Doing kind things for her community is nothing new for Braddy, who once shaved her head on television after raising $7,000 to help Savannah women access free mammograms.
Shortly afterward, her son Joseph contracted brain cancer and Braddy put her breast cancer fundraising on hold to care for him.
“I think he somehow influenced me with the angels, because he’s an angel now,” she said of her son, who lost his cancer battle at age 35 last September.
She wanted to use her time productively during the pandemic, beyond baking cookies.
“It’s not a good thing when you need to lose weight, but the UPS man, the mailman and the trash man loved it because they got to benefit from it,” Braddy shared.
“But I had to quit and find something else to do, and it led me to my shells,” she added.
A quick scan around her upstairs crafts room reveals her unique creativity: a tiny weightlifter made from shells, a blue-painted shell version of Sesame Street’s Cookie Monster — she’s even working on miniature shell-covered Spider-Man.
After learning of the interest in cutting police funding, Braddy decided to put her creativity to use by backing the men and women who serve.
“I have made standing angels, ones that are on plaques on wood on driftwood, some have faces and some do not,” Braddy explained. “I take my time, and every shell is handpicked from me.”
She called longtime friend, Chatham County Sheriff John Wilcher, asking if it was okay to gift his deputies with her special creations.
On Friday, Braddy and her husband Gerald visited the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office to drop off the angels for the officers.
Father Peter Lanshima of Saint James Catholic Church blessed the shell angels during a brief prayer.
“I think this is a beautiful thing, these religious articles are very important,” Lanshima told WSAV.com NOW. “They remind us of God’s presence, and the officers need to know that God is constantly there for them.”
Wilcher says he and the officers greatly appreciate the show of support by his friend of over 50 years.
“They’re really neat,” Wilcher said.
“When you do them by hand yourself and they all differ, that makes a whole difference instead of you and I going into a store and buying the same thing over and over,” he continued. “These are very unique.”
Wilcher says he plans to give them out to officers on the street as well as those working in the court.
Braddy is open to accepting shells for anyone in the community who would like to donate them to her. She can be reached by email at email@example.com.