SAP and Adobe have been partners for eight years in building playgrounds for schools in the Silicon Valley. I have been a part of every build, and it never grows old for me. The schools where we work are short on resources, but not short on passion for their students. When we combine our desire to serve our community, with the schools’ endeavor to improve the situation, we have a homerun. In just one day, we are able to make a tangible difference to the schools, and that’s what makes the KaBOOM! playground project unique.

This year, we worked at the East Palo Alto Charter School during SAP’s Month of Service. The project was one our largest yet, with with more than 300 SAPsv volunteers working together to transform a 6,000 sq. ft area into a space for kids to have fun, be creative, and stay active.

With tons of work to be done in a day, these projects were a great opportunity for team building. We had a group from SAPsv that worked together to move 302 cubic yards of engineered wood fiber (mulch). By the end of the day, they were covered in dirt and were tired, but had a great time working together, while getting to know each other a little better. It’s gratifying to know that so many people find as much joy in this event as I do.

It’s a fast-moving and exciting day with everyone working together to ensure we have a playground ready for the kids. It takes teamwork and collaboration. When facing a hurdle, we find a way to overcome it. On this build, we had an issue with one of the welded plates on the core supporting structure that was misaligned by a few degrees, so we could not get all four safety bolts into the structure. This could have brought the project to a standstill until a new part was delivered. Instead, a few SAP engineers came up with a creative and safe alternative that got us back on track and saved the day.

The playground build is truly a team effort. On this project, the 300-strong volunteer team painted asphalt games, assembled playground equipment, created murals, planted a community garden, and built garden furniture. Each year, we are able to take on larger projects and accomplish more with the support of our friends at Adobe. We plan the project together over a few months and come together as one team when we get out there on the build day.

After 15 gallons of paint, 300 bags of concrete, and nine hours of work, we were ready to present the finish product to the schoolchildren. It was wonderful to see them so excited about their new playground. This will be their space to enjoy, learn, and be active everyday. I would like to thank the #SAPvolunteers and our longtime partners Adobe and KaBOOM! for helping transform another school with a new playground. Eight down and many more to go!

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