Sending teddy love

Sending teddy love

Thornlie Christian College primary school principal Neville Stanway dressed as a teddy bear in the red chair with students holding their teddies in support of the Rajagopalan family. Photograph – Aaron Van Rongen.

To the sounds of ‘if you go down to the woods today you’re sure of a big surprise,’ which played from the speakers, Thornlie Christian College primary students walked into the gym holding their teddies.

On June 22 the school held a teddy bear picnic fundraiser to raise money for parent Shamy Rajagopalan who has ovarian cancer.

More than $1000 was raised from donations, a food stall and year two students who raised $150 selling bookmarks.

Thornlie Christian College early learning coordinator Kylie Halse said the teddy bear picnic was a beautiful way to support the Rajagopalan family.

“Not only that but it also teaches the little ones how to care for others,” she said.

“It teaches them about God’s love for us and coming together and caring for one another.”

Thornlie Christian College chaplain David Yardley spoke to the assembled students and parents.

He said the school had their arms wrapped around the Rajagopalan family as they travelled on a difficult journey.

Parent Suzette Soza said the teddy bear picnic was a great idea.

She said the Rajagopalan family did not have to feel isolated and she was honoured to be there supporting them.

Mrs Rajagopalan’s husband Ashok Rajagopalan said the teddy bear picnic fundraiser was an extraordinary and amazing event.

“Seeing what this school is doing for us and supporting us and seeing their love without any partiality is amazing,” he said.

“We are so thankful to God for bringing us here.”

Mr and Mrs Rajagopalan have a six-year-old daughter enrolled at the school.

It has been a tough journey for them with Mrs Rajagopalan battling cancer for three and a half years.

She said looking at the hundreds of people who had come out to support her and her family made her feel humbled but also gave her strength.

“I have a real sense of belonging,” she said.

“I am relaxed because of the support from the school and I thank and praise God for the love we have received.”