Posted in SU QLD
Written by Casey S.
We know each and every child is fearfully and wonderfully made by a loving God – and they are all unique.
As a parent of a child with autism, this well-known biblical reference resonates so deeply with me.
But as much as we believe this when we look at our child, our greatest fear is that our unique, wonderfully-made child will not be accepted by those around them because they view the world through a very different lens than their peers.
Thanks to the heartfelt and selfless support of wonderful friends like you, nine-year old Gabe from Bohlevale State School near Townsville has been supported by his big-hearted chaplain, Amie.
Through this support he has gone from struggling to find ‘his place’ to now feeling connected and supported in his tight-knit school community.
Gabe’s great-grandma, affectionately known as GG, is incredibly grateful for the transformation she’s seen in her great-grandson, who used to spend most of his time playing alone at school.
“Gabe just loves coming to see Chappy. Each year we see a difference in where Gabe was at and where he’s getting to. For a while he would sit and do lego on his own – now he’s interacting with others,” says GG.
“I know it’s because of the support that he’s receiving.”
“Gabe’s interactions with Chappy Amie transfer over to the classroom and his teachers have commented on it.”
GG was so inspired by the difference she’s seen in her great-grandson that she became a volunteer, handing out fruit and toast at the Brekky Club each week.
“Now I jump out of bed in the mornings! I love seeing the way that Chappy Amie knows all the kids. She never puts them off and she makes time for everybody. She’s fantastic – a real treasure,” says GG.
Having a trusted and trained person to look out for the wellbeing of our children during their hours at school is vital.
But having someone who knows and understands that each child is uniquely created, and has inherent value, and therefore deserves a safe and meaningful life; that’s precious.
School chaplains provide support to our most vulnerable children – and having Chappy Amie at school has made Gabe’s school experience infinitely brighter.
“I feel happy when I come and see Chappy. She’s my friend,” says Gabe.
As a parent myself, knowing that our children have a safe person who believes in them and cares for them in our school communities means so much. To know that friends like you are helping to make that possible through the sacrifice of your time and finances, thank you so much. You are truly a blessing.
You can keep the transformational work of chaplaincy going by visiting suqld.org.au/donate