As a mom of five, a former foster-care provider, and an entertainment professional, I understand how high school graduations are important milestones for teens and their families. There’s a sense of “moving on” that comes with crossing that bridge to adulthood and independence at the end of their high school days.
When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, however, I noticed that many seniors from the Class of 2020 in the York County community won’t have the chance to celebrate that milestone with their family friends. Graduation ceremonies and parties have been affected by the pandemic, and even if the shelter-in-place rules have been lifted, teens won’t be able to interact with each other the same way as part of the “new normal.”
I started an “Adopt-a-Senior” group for York County on Facebook because I wanted these kids to know that they’re appreciated and celebrated by the people in their community. This concept is based on similar groups from all over the country. With the help of a number of these groups, I was able to set up a community where people can learn more about what they can do for families and kids in their communities during these tough times.
The premise is simple: parents in the York County community post pictures of their teens from the Class of 2020 for donors to “adopt” and sponsor them. Donors can choose their “adoptees” and send them things that they can use, such as cards, gifts, snacks, and other special surprises. These gifts are then delivered to their doorstep, following social-distancing rules.
To date, there are 4990 members of the Facebook group and over 1000 high school seniors “adopted” by donors. Anyone who’s part of the York County community can choose to adopt any senior from the Class of 2020, whether they’re kids of friends or anyone with whom they share a special connection, and they can even set up frequent donations in the weeks leading up to their scheduled graduation date. The response has been so overwhelming that the York Dispatch even did a story about us!
If you are part of the York County community, we invite you to adopt a high school senior of your choice, whether as a parent or even a business owner who’s willing to sponsor gifts for members of the Class of 2020. Join us at the Adopt a York Co High School 2020 Community on Facebook!