Help needed in care package collection for graduating Dobyns-Bennett HS seniors

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KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) — The COVID-19 pandemic has taken away almost every tradition for graduating seniors at Dobyns-Bennet High School.

Hoping to raise the spirits of their graduating class, a group of Dobyns-Bennett seniors has teamed up to create a drive called “Adopt A Senior”.

The group shared their project with News Channel 11 and explained how community members can take part by adding a bit of joy to the life of a senior.

Participants who sign up to adopt a graduating senior will be able to send a care package that includes college merchandise or any of their favorite items. The deadline is fast approaching and there are more than 100 seniors who have yet to be chosen.

“We not only lost about a quarter of our junior year, we’ve lost almost the entirety of our senior year. So, like Friday night lights have been completely turned on their head with social distancing and masks. We haven’t had to have many events,” D–B senior Caleb Buell said.

However, these students are determined to create another avenue for seniors to get excited about graduation, after such a tough year.

“We decided to come up with the Adopt A Senior Project, in which a community member would make a care package for a senior,” Buell said, “Our seniors, they filled out a Google Form, and that form asked questions like, where you’re going to college, what’s your favorite places to eat, favorite snacks.”

Thanks to a leadership class, seniors Lindsey, Caleb, Alexandra, and Chandni have created this socially distanced gift distribution, hoping to garner help from community members.

From left to right: Caleb Buell, Alexandra Holley, Chandni Bhat, Bailey Brase and Lindsey Conway. These five are part of a group project that will collect care packages for 280 DBHS graduating seniors.

The ideal price range for each care package is $25 to $50.

Senior Alexandra Holley said, “After you’ve created your care package for your senior, you can drop it off at the front of D–B. We’ll be here to meet you.”

There is just one more dilemma: 280 seniors have signed up, but 118 seniors have yet to be paired, leading the group to extend their Friday, April 16 deadline to the following Friday, April 23.

“We’re really just hoping to raise their spirits and help seniors feel supported by community members,” Holley said.

Care packages can be dropped off on the following dates:

  • Saturday, May 8 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Wednesday, May 12 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Saturday, May 15 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Once the care packages have been accounted for, the graduating seniors who signed up will have the chance to pick them up the week of Monday, May 17.

Seniors will pick up their care packages in alphabetical order, according to the website:

  • Seniors with last names A-J: Monday, May 17
  • Seniors with last names K-Z: Tuesday, May 18
  • Any senior who is unable to pick up their care package on their designated pick-up day can pick it up after school on Wednesday, May 19.

To sign up to adopt a graduating senior at Dobyns-Bennett High School, click here.

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