Xenia parents organize gift distribution for high school graduates

Coronavirus

XENIA, Ohio (WDTN) – Parents are celebrating their high school seniors who now face uncertainty about end-of-year graduation ceremonies.

Some Xenia parents have organized an initiative to collect and distribute gifts for the graduating high school seniors.

“We really wanted to let them know that everyone’s really thinking about them,” said Lissa Kadel, who sent gift cards to several of the students.

Kadel and several other parents told 2 NEWS the past few weeks have not been easy for their graduating seniors.

“This class has had a lot of chaos, I kind of think,” said Jessica Gerhardt, another parent who sent presents. “They were born into 9/11. These were the babies that were born in that year. And then they’ve gone through the tornadoes.”

A few local parents recently created a Facebook group called “Gifting Xenia Seniors.” According to organizers, people can join the group and choose a student they would like to send a gift to. The presents often include items like gift cards, snacks and college gear.

Parents across the country have launched similar efforts to celebrate the Class of 2020.

“I had seen it on some other Facebook pages, and I had thought, ‘What a great thing for the kids at Xenia,'” said Amy Turner, one of the organizers.

Not only is Turner a mother of one of the high school seniors – she’s also on the front lines of the battle against COVID-19, working at a local hospital.

“I can see where my kids just want to go out and be with their friends, but then being on the hospital side, you see all the scary things,” Turner said.

More than 1,000 people have joined the Facebook group so far, Turner said. Organizers are working to get presents to the more than 200 students in Xenia set to graduate, she added.

“It brings tears to your eyes, one, just to see the whole community coming together and rallying around these kids, and then just to see the kids are so thankful for what we’re doing for them,” Turner said.

If you’re interested in giving a gift to a graduating senior, you can join the Facebook group, Turner said.

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