Couple gives free money to graduates in Topeka

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BONNER SPRINGS, Kan. (KSNT) – Graduation is exciting and scary at the same time but with graduation ceremonies canceled by the pandemic, one area couple wanted to help.

“We had noticed that we had some extra funds that we had received from both our businesses and I just thought wouldn’t it be cool to just give graduates in Topeka some money,” says 2008 Highland Park graduate Adrian Herrera.

Adrian and Sharynna Herrera are business owners in Bonner Springs. The couple grew up in Topeka. After watching a virtual graduation ceremony it sparked an idea to give back.

“We know there’s so many people within our community that graduation is such a big deal, it’s a big accomplishment,” said Sharynna Herrera, 2009 Topeka High graduate.

“We thought about it, we prayed about it and it was let’s go ahead and do it and let’s make a video for it,” said Adrian.

The #20for20 campaign was born.

“We want to give back Topeka graduates $20 for graduating in 2020 and just to kind of spark some joy in them,” said Adrian.

All graduates needed to do was drop their cash app in the comments section of the video announcement with proof of graduation. The couple pledged 30 donations to seniors, but that number grew.

“We started receiving donations from family and friends and we were able to gift from that original 30, 104 kids and that’s $2,080,” said Adrian.

“It was just a shock when that first donation came in and that was encouraging,” added Sharynna.

And the Herrera’s hope they can inspire others to find ways to give back to their community.

“Maybe it’s just giving back in a small way, sending a text message, mentoring your next door neighbor, but we just wanted to do this and be specific to Topeka because that’s where we’re from and it’s always had a place in our hearts,” said Adrian.

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