Trevor’s Tomatoes

September 15, 2020

Trevor R., a 27 yr old with Down Syndrome, has not been able to report to work at the #OCGoodwill store in Fullerton since mid-March. It's been tough being thrown out of his routine.

Trevor misses work, he misses the daily socialization and connection he had with his co-workers and friends.

Since his work group still can’t report to their job site, his Goodwill Job Coach, Rebecca B., hosts Zoom meetings Monday - Thursday every week. Trevor is a program participant of Goodwill’s Community-Based Services program, a job placement program that  helps individuals with developmental disabilities find meaningful employment in the community, and build their skills toward living a more independent life.

On the Zoom calls, each of the program participants in Trevor’s group share updates about what they’ve been doing and what projects are keeping them busy. Rebecca noticed that Trevor didn’t have a project and was often quiet on the calls.

Rebecca had the idea to give Trevor the start of a tomato plant – a project that he could take on and dig in to (pun intended).

Even though his mom Melinda is an avid gardener and offered to help, Trevor immediately claimed the plant and the process as his own.

He potted the starter in May, watered it and nurtured it every day and now, a few months later, has harvested his first healthy Beef Steak tomato!!

During this time of uncertainty and staying home, it’s been extremely hard on Trevor and many of his peers. But these tomatoes gave him something to look forward to and work hard on every day!

Rebecca can see his excitement now on their Zoom calls – he proudly shared his first grown tomato with the group!

Trevor's tomatoes are now thriving, and he has since harvested more than 15.