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Time for turkey! (Or turducken, or tofurkey…)

This year for Thanksgiving, we are practicing gratitude here at the IOCDF office. With all of the stress of running a small nonprofit and putting on huge events like the OCD Conference, Walk, and OCD Awareness Week, it can be easy to get lost in the details. We asked our staff to think about their work here at the Foundation and to ponder the age-old question, “What are you thankful for?” We loved everyone’s responses and wanted to share them below. Enjoy, hopefully with a side of mashed potatoes and stuffing!

I am thankful to be part of an organization that provides an opportunity for connection and community. I have witnessed so many individuals and families suffer in silence and isolation for many years, and the IOCDF community is such a generous and welcoming group. It is a privilege to be part of it.
– Jeff Szymanski, PhD, Executive Director

In my role as director of development, I am privileged and grateful for the opportunity to work with some of the most generous donors I’ve ever known. Each is sincerely interested in the work of the Foundation and how it is making life better for those with OCD and related disorders.
Jeff Smith, Director of Development

I am so thankful to have a job where my focus is not on the bottom line, but instead on how to make the biggest impact for our community — an amazingly passionate and resilient community of adults, kids, and families — in the fight to raise awareness and understanding about OCD and related disorders. I am thankful to all of those that share their stories with us, and I feel privileged to be able to help share those stories with the world through our blog, OCD Awareness Week, the website, the OCD Newsletter, and on and on. I am also thankful for our amazing group of spokespeople and OCDvocates for dedicating so much time and energy to the cause.
Carly Bourne, Director of Marketing and Communications

I’m thankful to be part of such a passionate and hard-working group of people here at the IOCDF. It means so much to me to come into work each and every day knowing that all of my colleagues are equally motivated to fulfill our organization’s mission to help people affected by OCD and related disorders.
– Pam Lowy, Director of Operations

I am thankful to have had the opportunity to work with such a wonderful community over the past five years. The IOCDF community is so near and dear to my heart, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to have met and spoke with so many of you. I will forever cherish working here and running the Annual OCD Conference — it has been an incredible experience I will never forget.
Marissa Keegan, Program Director

This year I am thankful for all the wonderful people in our OCD community who donate their time as volunteers here at IOCDF headquarters, at our various events throughout the year, and as advocates (or OCDvocates!) in their own communities. We absolutely could not do the work we do without their generous support and assistance. I am so grateful for all they have done and all they will continue to do.
 Stephanie Cogen, Assistant Program Director

I am thankful for our affiliates and all the work they do to support the OCD community and further the mission of the IOCDF on the local level. Without them, for example, we would not have the 1 Million Steps 4 OCD Walk in multiple cities across the country (and with more to come!).
Tiia Groden, Membership & Outreach Specialist

This February will mark my sixth year at the IOCDF. I am grateful for having been able to watch the Foundation, and the community it serves, grow into what they are today!
— Fran Harrington, Web Developer and Designer

As the newest employee at the IOCDF, I’m thankful this year for such a great group of supportive coworkers who helped make my transition into this new role as smooth as I could’ve hoped for. I couldn’t ask to work with a better group!
 Sydney Nolan, Communications Assistant

I am so thankful and proud to be a part of the IOCDF family. I’m grateful that my position allows me to experience the unique stories of all the individuals contacting the Foundation for help.
Alex Bahrawy, Administrative Assistant

I am thankful to work for an organization that offers such invaluable resources to people who need them and to get to share in an office with folks who are as funny as they are kind!
Abigail Green, Bookkeeperimage (10)

Happy Thanksgiving to those celebrating this week! And thank you to everyone for giving us so much to be grateful about. This organization would not exist without such a fantastic community backing it, and for that, we are truly thankful! Let us know in the comments below — what are you giving thanks for this year?


  • I am thankful for OCDvocates who bravely share their stories and for mental health professionals who educate us about OCD and treat it. Because of them, I don’t feel alone and I am doing much better than I ever was pre-diagnosis. Thank you all!


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