A note of thanks in the workplace can mean a lot, but with demanding schedules it’s often hard to find the time to share appreciation for those close to us. Last Thursday, Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) staff members took the opportunity to share gratitude for colleagues across the University at the sixth annual Giving Thanks open house.

FAS staff members gathered in the faculty room at University Hall to see friends, enjoy cider and cookies, and write personal thank-you notes to co-workers.

“I don’t often regret knowing so many wonderful people, but I think I’m going to be here a while,” joked Janet Collins, a case administrator in the Department of College Life, over a large stack of notes.

Notes like Collins’ are being delivered via campus mail during this Thanksgiving week. After last year’s Giving Thanks open house, nearly 4,000 notes of appreciation were sent across the FAS.

Team members from the Division of Continuing Education (DCE) not only penned thank-you notes, but came to the faculty room as a group. “This is our first year all together. It’s wonderful to come and share appreciation for people on your team,” said Colleen Bertrand, director of human resources administration and payroll at DCE.

Staff members also had the opportunity to give back to the larger Cambridge community, thanks to the Harvard Square Homeless Shelter (HSHS). Harvard student volunteers were on hand to collect donations for the shelter, and to share a little information about their work.

“The HSHS was the first student-run homeless shelter in the U.S.,” said Harvard student Amy Huang. The shelter provides hot meals every day, nightly sleeping accommodation, clothing and other donations, and advocacy programs like employment and housing search assistance. This year, more than $1,300, socks, and many other items were donated to the HSHS as part of the open house.

“We’re looking toward another hard winter, and donations like the ones shared today will go a long way in helping our guests,” said Huang.

Gratitude shared

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Harvard Divinity School students, faculty, and staff share what they are grateful for.