Maggie Kiley

Maggie Kiley, administrative coordinator at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and Sarine Der Kaloustian, assistant director for administration, write thank-you notes.

Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer

Campus & Community

Much to be thankful for

3 min read

Harvard community shares bounty at Giving Thanks Open House

There’s still one more day until friends and families gather around the table for turkey and pie, but the season of gratitude is well underway at the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS).

Last week the annual Giving Thanks Open House was held in the Faculty Room of University Hall, drawing staff members from a range of departments to take a moment to say “thank you” to colleagues who have been helpful to them over the course of the year. The event is also an opportunity to help support the Harvard Square Homeless Shelter, as attendees were encouraged to bring gently worn blankets and coats, nonperishable food items, and financial contributions for the shelter.

“It’s a really nice way for people to see their colleagues, and take a few minutes to show their appreciation,” said program coordinator Kat Bliss from the FAS Human Resources Department, who helped organize the event.

The event, now in its ninth year, drew hundreds of employees who braved the cold and rain to enjoy coffee and cookies, hear a wonderful live piano performance, and most importantly, express their thanks to fellow staff members.

“There are always people throughout the year whom I want to thank for their help or generosity, but we’re all busy and it can be hard to find the time,” said Mary Ann Bradley, associate dean of administrative operations. “It’s great to have a dedicated place and time for it.

Theo Motzkin

“The generous donations we receive help us replenish our stocks”, said Theo Motzkin ’19 (left), co-director of Harvard Square Homeless Shelter, who was joined by Molli Goetz, director of Resource Advocacy at Harvard Square Homeless Shelter, and Ethan Kahn ’20, co-director Harvard Square Homeless Shelter.

Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer

Laura Alexandra Lacombe

Laura Alexandra Lacombe donates food for the Harvard Square Homeless Shelter.

Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer

“And it’s amazing who comes to this event — everyone from deans to building managers and lab assistants. And of course, it is so nice to see how generous people are in supporting the shelter,” she added.

“We are so grateful to be invited to the Faculty of Arts and Sciences’ Giving Thanks Open House each year,” said Theo Motzkin, a Harvard College student who volunteers for the shelter. “The generous donations we receive help us replenish our stocks of blankets and soup — so important for our guests, especially as the days grow colder.”