GREAT FALLS — Rosalyn Baldwin is a young girl, but she has big hopes and dreams and performs little acts of kindness. On Thursday morning, she made her way to Great Falls to give hugs to members of law enforcement as part of her 50-state journey.
Her visit to Great Falls makes Montana the 43rd state she has visited. A Louisiana native, Rosalyn explained what influenced her to do this.
"There was a shooting across Baton Rouge. Being a six-year-old, it touched my heart, so I wanted to show support for our officers. I was feeling this amount of empathy and I wanted to project it onto someone to show support to officers."
While it may be considered a "small" act of kindness, it meant a great deal to members of the Great Falls Police Department.
Chief Jeff Newton of the Great Falls Police Department stated, "On behalf of Great Falls Police Department, we're honored and privileged, and we feel special that she's taking the time. Her and her family her mom and her brother to go around the United States, and being the 43rd state to come to Great Falls to show her appreciation and give us hugs. Law enforcement in this day and age is challenging. I don't think anybody can deny that. It's kind of special when you have a young lady who is taking time to come and say 'we appreciate you, we love you and I just wanted to give you a hug to say thank you,' so it's pretty special."
John Marshall is the Special Projects Officer for the Great Falls Police Department. He said, "It's a big deal. For the last couple of years, the streets have been hard for officers. Crime is getting more rampant out there. When someone like Rosalyn and her family come all the way from how many states now, and give us a hug, it seems funny in some ways, but the reality is there are still people that care about law enforcement, and their communities. It's a huge deal for us that not only she would pick Great Falls, but it does truly mean a lot to us that she came all this way to give a hug to show that she appreciates law enforcement all across the nation, and so it really touches us and hits close to home for us."
Rosalyn noted that it feels amazing knowing that she's been to 43 states so far, knowing she can spread love and support for officers across the country.
Rosalyn's mother Angie says this impacts her in various ways and that it shows that we aren't as divided as many people think we are.
Angie stated, "I think with all my heart that people are broken in a broken society, and they are half-baggaged for years and generations. They're seeing these skewed lenses instead of seeing people for who they are and loving them. This person, you've never met. You just see the uniform. You don't know what his heart is like, and I want people to see that and see them the way God sees them. If we see each other like that, our nation would be amazing. If i just saw you, didn't care about your politics, what you did, or your lifestyle, but I loved you, our world would be tremendously different."
Angie touched on what this means to her as Rosalyn's mother, knowing her daughter is making a difference for those in the line of duty.
"I want people to remember that. That's where the heart is, loving people and loving those who go out every day and risking their lives for us. People we call on 911, people who we need to be there. Those are the folks we need. We absolutely need them, every day. The firemen, police officers, the veterans just what they've done for us, World War II, it goes on and on. we can not forget these guys, we can never forget them ... I think the fact she came up to me and said, 'mom, this is something I have to do. God is telling me." My husband and I prayed about it and we knew God was with her."
The GFPD recorded Rosalyn's arrival:
Rosalyn stated her main message to the community: "Not all officers are bad. There are bad officers, we've seen it the past couple of years. But most of them in our community are not like that."
Rosalyn has seven more states to go to spread her love and support for law enforcement throughout the country. You can follow her journey at RosalynLoves.com.