Campus & Community

Giving thanks for each other

2 min read

FAS gathers ahead of Thanksgiving to send notes of gratitude to colleagues

It’s natural to focus on gratitude among family and friends during Thanksgiving, but at the FAS Giving Thanks event, it’s colleagues who garner the attention.

Last week, Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) faculty and staff took the time to thank their colleagues during the seventh annual Giving Thanks in the Faculty Room at University Hall. A steady stream came to write notes of gratitude to co-workers while enjoying cookies and cider.

“The folks I’m writing to care deeply about the mission of Harvard and they work really hard every day to help deliver on that. If I can give them a small token of thanks, it’s the right thing to do,” said Zak Gingo, senior director of operations in the Office of Physical Resources and Planning. “I certainly appreciate it on the occasions I get a written note, so anything I can do to help with that is a good thing.”

Notes written during the event are delivered through campus mail over the days leading up to Thanksgiving. At last week’s Giving Thanks Open House, more than 4,000 notecards were written and distributed.

“I started [at the Center for African Studies] about a month and a half ago and my team has really been that core of strength since I’ve gotten here, so I am writing to them to thank them for all of their support and helping me to get acclimated and situated,” said Mbessin Sonko, communications officer for the center.

Many of the FAS faculty and staff members not only wrote notes of thanks, but brought donations for the Harvard Square Homeless Shelter (HSHS) with them. “The Harvard Square Homeless Shelter is always in need of resources,” said Daniel Mayor ’17, one of the student volunteers on hand to collect donations.

The HSHS provides shelter and hot meals, as well as clothing and resources to help individuals transition into housing. Canned goods, clothing items, sleeping bags, and monetary donations were among items collected for the shelter.

“Giving to [HSHS] tends to be more student-oriented, and this is really the one time that faculty and staff get involved, so it’s great to have the larger Harvard community supporting the center,” said Mayor.