The word "thank you" in many languages arranged in the shape of a heart

‘1,000 Thanks and Giving’ Goes Virtual, Gains Significance During Pandemic


Thanksgiving Day is a week away, but members of the Buffalo State College community are getting an early start on spreading gratitude this season.

The Dean of Students Office and the Newman Center have launched the fifth annual “1,000 Thanks and Giving” initiative, and like most of the world in 2020, it looks a bit different this year.

Through Friday, November 20, students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to send thanks via a virtual form, as opposed to a traditionally handwritten note. Although the campus is less populated this semester, the virtual giving of thanks is a way for the college community to stay connected.

“It feels especially important to take a minute and reflect on those who have supported you this year.”

- Sarah Young, Dean of Students

While the practice of showing appreciation is normally a kind act that the campus likes to encourage around the holiday season, it can be extra meaningful for senders and receivers of the messages this year because of the hardships many have faced throughout the coronavirus pandemic, said Sarah Young, dean of students.

“It feels especially important to take a minute and reflect on those who have supported you this year,” Young said, “and give credit to those in our community who are working hard and being a support to others.”

So far, campus community members have sent 150 virtual thank-you notes, but, as the name implies, the goal is to send at least 1,000. The form is renewable, meaning senders can give thanks as many times to as many people on campus as they would like. Young hopes the ease of filling out and sending the personalized messages this year will stress the importance of how far a small act of kindness can go.

“It’s a struggle every day for people to do their normal routines, let alone do the little extras, but it is a nice reflection exercise and a nice time to remember that there are others out there who help you,” Young said. “This is our way of thanking each other for what we do each and every day.  Sometimes we need that reminder of how we’re making an impact on others, especially since we don’t get to see people in person.”