FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — FedEx employees in Fort Wayne joined forces to celebrate their high school seniors.
Senior year milestones like prom and graduation have been canceled and postponed around the area as the community deals with the COVID-19 pandemic, so employees at Fort Wayne’s FedEx Express wanted to make sure the senior students in the FedEx family had something positive go their way.
“We put together some gift boxes for them with some items for whatever the next chapter in their life might bring,” said Senior Manager Chris Ward.
They pulled together a variety of items like notebooks, wireless mice, and even ramen noodles and packaged them up in FedEx boxes and tied with a bow. FedEx employees contributed by donating money or items to put the packages together.
“We know it’s not a graduation ceremony but we wanted to do something special to commemorate the occasion,” said Ward. “I think maybe the most important thing to realize is as adults it might be hard for us to relate or to think back to when we were in high school and how not having a ceremony or not being able to walk might’ve affected us. Our inconveniences are not being able to go out to a restaurant or not being able to get a hair cut but this is kind of a major milestone in the life of a young adult and that’s kind of being passed over.”
FedEx handed out eight boxes in total, two shipped to students out of state and the other six delivered in person around Fort Wayne. The seniors were only told they had to be home during a specific time window, so opening the door to a gift for them was a huge surprise.
“I was not expecting that at all,” said Kaylin Pendergrass. “My dad had told me earlier that his boss was coming. I wasn’t sure why but when I opened up the door I saw he had this huge box with all this stuff in it’s great to receive something so special from his work.”
The gesture was appreciated by their parents as well, who say they know exactly what their kids are missing.
“The things that I had to look forward to when you were a senior, and she doesn’t get to experience those things so it’s just kind of sad,” said FedEx Courier Angie Wiechart.
“It’s tough as a parent to watch these young boys and girls go through something that for us was so memorable,” said John Pendergrass, Operations Manager at FedEx Express Fort Wayne. “Being a people-first company that we are, we thought it was best that we could really kind of give them a memory
While it is not exactly going to prom with their friends or hearing their names called to get their diplomas, the students said they appreciated that people were thinking about them, not just at FedEX but also those around the community who have been showing support for seniors during this time.
“It definitely feels better knowing that people are out there and they realize that we are missing certain stuff, so they try to do what they can to help,” said Bishop Dwenger senior Faith Weichart.
“I’m speaking on behalf of a lot of other seniors that we’re very grateful for everything that’s happened and people making up for everything that’s going on so it means a lot,” said Northop High School senior Summer Silvers-Barone.
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