Hands On Hartford

A Bittersweet Farewell

January 31, 2018

Wanda Guzman, Michelle Jarvis and Janet Bermudez share a laugh

There was a lot of laughter and a few tears as well as we said farewell to Michelle Jarvis who has been a valuable, loved and appreciated member of the Hands On Hartford Team for the past 6 ½ years.  Michelle contributed hugely to many aspects of our services and programs, and was connected to everything we do, from food programs to housing services, evaluation, strategic planning, communications, grants, events, volunteer projects, development and more.  We wish her well with her new “venture” of starting a family, and with her permission, we share her good-bye letter:

Dear HOH “Framily”,

As most of you know, today is my last day at Hands On Hartford. Over the past 6 and a half years, I have had the pleasure of working alongside all of you.

This is a truly special place, filled with special people. Though we deal with many difficult situations, oftentimes helping people in unthinkable, heartbreaking situations, there is so much happiness around. Multiple times per day, I hear bursts of laughter in the building. I have some of the best memories of spending time with everyone at various events (Toy Shoppe, Harvest Supper, Volunteer Events, etc.) and feeling so thankful to have such wonderful colleagues from all across the agency.

I started here as a VISTA right after college. In many ways I feel that I really grew into an adult here. Prior to starting at HOH, I had never stepped foot in a soup kitchen, never led volunteers, never planned an event. This place has taught me a lot, especially the true meaning of caring and compassion. I am constantly amazed by all of the great work being done, especially by the individuals who are providing direct service to others.

I have been especially thankful this week, not only for all of the years I’ve spent here, but for the outpouring of well wishes I have received. Thank you to everyone for your kind words, generous gifts, help with various work tasks, and overall support! Thank you as well to those who helped to plan/execute the amazing surprise shower/goodbye party on Wednesday, and to everyone who attended. I’m so touched by how many people came out to lend their support.

I definitely won’t be a stranger! I look forward to hearing about all of the exciting things that HOH will be involved with moving forward.

Thank you again!!


This post was written by Kate Shafer, Communications Manager at Hands On Hartford. You may contact the author at kshafer@handsonhartford.org.