• John McGary, Woodford Sun Editor

‘A way to feed your soul and warm your heart’, Deadlines approach for 2nd annual Adopt A Senior prog

Wendy Birch and Maria Bohanan are looking for a few good people to

sponsor graduating seniors whose last 14 months in high school have been

anything but ordinary.

Bohanan and Birch are co-directors of the 2nd annual Adopt A Senior

program, which began last year as a way to reward soon-to-be graduates

with gifts and words of encouragement. Bohanan, the chair of the

Woodford Tourist Commission and a member of the Woodford Economic

Development Authority, said she sponsored a senior last year and found

it incredibly rewarding.

“It was, without a doubt, one of the best things I’ve (ever done),” she

said. “It warmed my heart. These kids were so excited and so grateful

and so thankful, and even though we’re seeing things become a little bit

normal, these seniors have not had a normal year. They missed out on a lot.”

Bohanan said parents of graduating seniors were sent emails asking if

their children would like to participate, while she and Birch recruited

volunteers to be matched up with the students.

“We give them gift baskets with things that they like. Last year, I gave

my kid his favorite snacks, a Kroger gift card for gas and a little

congratulations balloon and a cake. It’s just a little ‘spoily’ for

these kids, Bohanan said.

Bohanan said they hope to adopt at least 200 of the more than 300

seniors who’ll graduate from Woodford County High School next month. “If

we get more than that, I will be ecstatic,” she said. Students who

graduated WCHS in December or will graduate from Safe Harbor Academy are

eligible too, she said.

Bohanan and Birch each have children whose high school days will be done

next month, but Bohanan said they hope the program continues after the

pandemic. “It gets the community involved, it gets these kids champions

in their corner, to just give them a little treat (and) words of

encouragement,” she said.

The deadline for students to sign-up for this year’s Adopt A Senior

program is Friday, April 16, and for volunteers, April 23, with the

match-up emails to be sent May 5. The gift deliveries will be made May

14-16, and in many cases, the adopters won’t have met the student

they’re adopting, she said.

“Last year, when these kids got it, they were so excited, and also, we

have had several parents who had seniors last year that said, ‘I’m in.

My kids loved this, and so we want to help,’” she said.

Parents who don’t have high school-age children should consider

participating, Bohanan said.

“Through this (14 months) of abnormalcy, this is a way to give back to

your community, it’s a way to feed your soul and warm your heart,” she

said. “It is a bright spot in someone’s day – and who doesn’t need that

in these times.”

More information is available on the “Adopt a 2021 Woodford County

Senior Yellowjacket” Facebook page.

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