SOUTH HADLEY, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - A community is coming together after the tragic death of a South Hadley teacher.
He was killed in a car accident on his way to work Thursday morning and now the community is working together to help the kids at that school.
Parents at Mosier Elementary School are collecting 440 stuffed animals, one for every student at the school.
Each has a colored ribbon pinned to it that represents one of the community's favorite qualities of Parmatma Khalsa.
"We want to maybe bring a little more smiles and less tears however we can," local parent Dani Thomas tells us,
The South Hadley community is grieving the loss of Parmatma Khalsa, who was killed in a car accident on his way to work Thursday morning.
Mr. Khalsa was a third grade teacher at Mosier Elementary School.
"He's loving, kind, extremely intelligent. He's like a light of the world. He's definitely someone that's going to be missed," explained Thomas.
Dani Thomas, whose kids attend the school, tells Western Mass News that the news not only hit the children hard, but the parents as well, so they decided to collect 440 stuffed animals to be given out to every student at the school, but a stuffed animal with an extra special meaning.
Each animal has a ribbon pinned to it, either red, orange, or white, representing qualities Mr. Khalsa showed to his students.
Red represents love, orange represents kindness, and white represents peace.
"It'll be a nice way for the children to remember him. When they look at the animal, they'll see the value and it'll just be extra special for them," continued Thomas.
Students say that these stuffed animals are going to help with their sadness.
"It's not an ordinary stuffed animal. This was for something very special and not just to give out. It's to remember Mr. Khalsa," local student Ryan Thomas stated.
"These stuffed animals aren't something at an ordinary store. They're something to love with," student Daisy Thomas says.
And for one of Mr. Khalsa's former students, it has an extra special meaning.
"It's something to remember him with. I'm getting a turtle, because he always told me to slow down," Allie Lynch, a former student of Mr. Khalsa, said.
Something Mr. Khalsa would remind her to do when she would finish her assignments too quickly, but parents say even in this tight knit community, the outpouring of support is overwhelming.
Support that shows how many lives Mr. Khalsa has touched.
"If that's not a testament to his legacy, I don't know what would be. It's clear that this is a man of incredible integrity and value, and he's going to be very missed," added Dani.
There are still around 100 stuffed animals needed and the deadline is Tuesday afternoon.
They are looking for new stuffed animals around six to ten inches.
There is also a Pay Pal set up for money donations and a GoFundMe, which has raised over $1,100.
Meanwhile, a GoFundMe for Mr. Khalsa's family has raised over $36,000.
To learn how you can donate a stuffed animal, you can click or tap here for more information.
To learn how you can donate to the GoFundMe, you can click or tap here for more information.