“I was hurt. Before all of this started there was a shooting,” said Rosalyn Baldwin. “I didn’t know them but it seemed like I knew them in my heart. It was a police officer in Louisiana that was shot.”

So said 11-year-old Rosalyn, has been traveling around the United States with her family after mending a wounded heart and getting called on a mission from God.

“I was sitting in my room playing with my toys like usual and I heard a voice calling my name. I looked around and to my surprise there is no one there calling me. So I got up and asked everyone in my house if they were calling my name. And my dad walked up to me and said it was Jesus. So after that, I got to talk to Him and he told me that I have this mission,” Rosalyn said.

According to Angie Baldwin, Rosalyn’s mom, God told her to go love the peacemakers of the world by hugging and praying for them.

Starting in Louisiana and working their way up towards the East Coast, the Baldwins have traveled across the United States and have already gone to 35 states so Rosalyn can spread her message of love through hugging emergency response officers.

She seeks out police officers in every state and has also shared her hugs with any person who needs a hug or wants a hug, with her little brother Philip on her heel, emulating her desire to hug everyone.

“You can’t make a little kid do this. This is what she wants to do,” Baldwin said. She said with the way “things have gotten now” it is more important than ever for her to do the work.

The family travels mostly with the support of their own hard work. Dad is a pastor and mom stays home with the kids or travels with the kids. The family is also supported by donations through a Go Fund Me link on their website, rosalynloves.com.

Baldwin said her daughter’s desire to hug police officers is not fueled by anything political, including Black Lives Matter. “We are Americans of African descent,” Angie Baldwin said, “But we are really Christians first, and then Americans second.”

Edgewood police officer Loretta Easterling got a hug from Rosalyn and her brother Philip this week. Photo by Tamara Bicknell-Lombardi.

She said she thinks people forget that the country belongs to us all. Regardless of which ethnicity one happens to be, “this is all our country” and the people in this country need to stick together.

“When I look at the flag, I feel so proud because of all the blood, sweat and tears that went into that flag,” Angie Baldwin said, adding. “This is our house and we have to come together and keep building up our house not tearing it down.”

Covid canceled Rosalyn’s 2020 travel plans but the family was able to restart in 2021, kicking off their trip in Waco, Texas at the beginning of June and traveling through the Southwest back to Louisiana to be home in time for Father’s Day. The family was in New Mexico this week and stopped in Edgewood to hug the police officers.

“Honestly, if a little child come up to you, looks into your eyes and says ‘I need to go help other people. I need to go show love to these people who may not feel the love right and to the people who may not feel the love right now. I need to be the beacon of light.’ That’s what she said. I did not want to stand before God and not do this, she said, adding, “To hear him say, ‘I sent this little one out and you did not listen to me.’ How many parents didn’t listen to their children who are now going to miss out on a blessing or an opportunity to bless other people?”