Freedom community comes together to honor the class of 2020 through senior adoption program

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Senior Hunter Black receives many different kinds of candy along with a Pitt pillow from his adoptee.

Jessica Majors, Asst. Sports Editor

With the COVID-19 outbreak leaving schools closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year, many seniors are heartbroken. These students did not know they were saying their final goodbyes to fellow classmates on March 12 for the last time. Their senior proms and graduation are in the talks about being taken away if the virus continues to climb. These two events are filled with a lifetime of memories that these students might not ever experience.
The community has teamed up and helped find a cure to the heartbreak that these seniors are feeling during this time. With the help of Facebook, these seniors are feeling a little extra love. Amanda Boyd Chaousy was the one who put together the program “Freedom Class of 2020” on April 27. This is a place where community members can “adopt a senior” and shower them with gifts to make them feel special. Chaousy decided to share this with the Freedom community after she found it successful with many local schools. Chaousy works at Seneca Valley Middle School and loved this idea Seneca was doing for their seniors with others “adopting” them. Many other local schools, like New Brighton, have found this program beneficial.
On Facebook, parents of the class of 2020 seniors create a post to the group that explains their son or daughter. These parents include achievements of their child whether it be school related or outside of school achievements, clubs or sports they participated in, their future plans after graduation, etc. Along with the description, they also attach photos or videos of their child to the post. After the post is put out into the group, community members comment on these posts to “adopt” these seniors, whether they have a close relationship with them or not.
This group has over 330 members and is continuing to grow as time goes on. Currently, every single senior that has a post has been adopted and the Freedom community could not be any prouder. These individuals are working their best to make sure all seniors feel loved during this time and to not leave any senior left “unadopted.”
“This entire situation is helping me know that there are people out there that care for me and are here for me through thick and thin,” senior Hunter Black said.
Some of the gifts can be as simple as a letter, card or a message written in sidewalk chalk, while some are reaching out to get these seniors gift cards, snacks and even a little bit of cash to help with their future plans.
“I have received a poster for my yard along with many different treats and a nice Pitt pillow,” Black said.
The class of 2020 might not be getting the senior year they imagined, but they are one of a kind. They are adapting to circumstances that no other class before them has ever faced and with the help of the community, are making it known that they are special.