One local woman is leading the charge to honor members of the Class of 2020.

Madison County resident Shanika Roebuck Lewis graduated as a Mountaineer so she knows firsthand what members of this year’s senior class are missing, her son included.

“I felt bad for him and his senior friends,” she said. “They’re not getting to do all of the senior events. There’s no senior trip, no prom, they’ve missed out on everything they would have done and all of those memories they would have made.”

Lewis said she couldn’t let the seniors go without anything so she started the Virginia Adopt a Senior 2020 group on Facebook. Members in the group post a senior for “adoption” including their photo, a little bio and what they plan to do after graduation. Someone in the group then “adopts” the senior, contacting their parent to get more information as to possible items to get for them, how to deliver them, etc. Lewis said having the adopter contact the parent adds a little security to the project and also still keeps the mystery for the senior, until they either receive their gift or the parent tells them who the adopter is.

Once a senior receives their gift, they then post a photo of it in the Facebook group, thanking their adopter. Several seniors have already received gifts including their favorite snacks, pens, cards and gift cards. Lewis said she adopted two seniors, sending them their favorite snacks and some items from Amazon wish lists. As of Monday, 115 seniors had been adopted.

“It can be a gift card, a card, something that will make them feel special,” Lewis said.

She said the senior students being adopted aren’t just from Madison. Seniors have also been adopted from Greene, Orange and Louisa counties as well as places around the state including Alexandria and Chantilly.

“It went further than I thought it would,” Lewis said.

She plans to keep the adoptions going until May 22, after which time no new seniors can be added to the group. She said she’s worried that if it goes too long, some students won’t be adopted.

“The plan was for everyone to get in and get adopted by their graduation date,” Lewis said. “I don’t want to have it go too long and some not get adopted. Then I’ll feel bad all over again.”

To join the group and adopt a senior, search for “Virginia Adopt a Senior 2020” on Facebook.

Load comments