Coronavirus kindness: South Bay community 'adopts' graduates to help celebrate their achievements

MORGAN HILL, Calif. (KGO) -- The community is continuing to step up to try and honor the Class of 2020 who are missing out on their graduations from all schooling levels.

One South Bay mom has created a Facebook page in Morgan Hill, Calif. to help make sure that all graduates are celebrated.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, these students are all missing out on activities that will never come again.

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"We worked for the past 12 years to lead up to this moment," Sobrato High School senior Kira Levandoski said. "So it definitely sucks."

"It was sad to hear about the activities they couldn't do," Sobrato parent Pamela Drayton said.

"You can say that you are going to do it in August, or a one-year reunion, but it's not the same," Live Oak parent Jennifer McKenzie said.

So Andrea Guevara took an idea she saw in other communities and made it a reality in the South Bay.

Now, residents of Morgan Hill are doing what they can to honor these kids through a Facebook page that pairs students with the community.

"Strangers I never even met are messaging me and saying, 'thank you so much for doing this, you have no idea how much this means to me and my kid'," Guevara said. "I couldn't imagine not having a graduation, I just want to do something nice for a senior."

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Enter adopt-a-senior: 900 people have joined the page with more than 250 students adopted.

Students or parents can nominate graduates for adoption and then the community comments back with their selection.

After filling out a wishlist, the graduates are treated to gifts by their new adoptive families, some have never even met the students.

"I'm a huge baseball fan, so I got a Dodgers baseball basket," Live Oak senior Megan Quadrini said.

"I got this really great butterfly balloon arch that's a heart that's really great," Live Oak senior Kailani Paar-Thong said.

"They are little notes, prayers, tokens, but sometimes it's the little things in life that make such a big impact and such a big difference," Live Oak parent Jeanne Lee said.

The gifts may never truly replace what was lost.

But this program is about more than that.

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"It just makes everyone feel loved and cared for even in during these dark times," Sobrato senior Angeline Madriaga said.

"It's very fulfilling, not only for the senior, but for the senior adoptive parent," Adoptive parent Amanda Saltonstall said.

"It's heartwarming when you get a picture from the parent with a smile on the kid's face," Adoptive parent and Morgan Hill council member Rene Spring said.

"I know that, if my kids were in the same situation, I know I would appreciate it and they would also," Adoptive parent Melissa Lummis said.

"everything going on right now seems like, everything that can go wrong is going wrong," Sobrato senior Elian Lopez said. "So something like this to come out of nowhere is amazing."

If you would like to adopt a graduate, you can request access to the private Facebook page here.

Congratulations to the Class of 2020!
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