A nonprofit organization pulled the community in the Salinas Valley of California together to build a special playground. The playground is centered on giving full accessibility to all children, including those with special needs. Tatum's Garden was inspired by a little girl named Tatum, who has spina bifida.
Tatum's family rallied a community to fundraise and gather support to build a playground, which is now the only one of its kind within a 250-mile radius. Monterey County public schools have enrolled over 6,800 children who have some type of special need, whether that is physical, emotional or mental, and that does not count children like Tatum who are below school age, or those in the private sector. This playground will change the lives of thousands of children and their caregivers in the Salinas Valley.
Nunhems' Salad Team was a dedicated part of the efforts to make this children's playground a reality. Tatum's Garden is themed after the agriculture of the Salinas Valley, and many sections of the play structure are dedicated to specific crops. Nunhems' Salad Team has sponsored a large portion of the "Spinach Zone." Specifically, Nunhems' donation supported the building of several specific components, such as the "Super Spinach Spinner," "Salad Spinner" and the "Spinach Activity Wall."
Another large portion of the playground that Nunhems was deeply involved in was the actual building of the playground. Thousands of volunteers took shifts September 10-15 to literally lend a hand to see this project completed. The Salad Team hydrated this project by donating over 2,000 bottles of water, specially designed with Nunhems' logo labels, for the project build days. The Salad Team and their friends and family felt so strongly about this cause that they picked up tools and donated their time building the actual playground.
Dawn Klawitter talks about what a touching experience this event was for everyone that was a part of it: "It's hard to say how our team feels without tears because we received more than we imagined possible. Our hearts are full of joy and pride right now. We all are proud to be a part of this event, proud that our company was a part of this, and proud to live and work in such a great community." Not only was this an excellent opportunity for Nunhems to be connected to their community, but also a way for individuals to come together and build a closer-knit Salad Team.