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Secret Pal Boosts Morale of DHS Staff

Date: 02/27/2019

It was early in the day as Lakesha Warren walked with a group of Department of Human Services (DHS) employees headed to their respective work stations. All the while, Warren smiled, gave a head nod, or said hello to people who crossed her path.     

When she arrived at her cubicle, something quickly caught her attention.          

“There was an envelope on my desk. Inside was a gift card. I knew then that I would be OK. Even though I smiled and remained friendly, truth-be-told, outside of work I was struggling. Personally, it was a tough time for me,” Warren said. “My person from Secret Pal had no idea how much the gift helped me. That situation perfectly shows what I love most about Secret Pal, it’s intended to build morale and put a smile on someone's face.”

“Secret Pal is about giving our coworkers a chance to get excited about something, if even for just a brief moment,” Warren said. 

So what is Secret Pal?      

It’s a project where DHS staffers draw the name of a coworker, who’s also part of the program, and they purchase small gifts for that “pal” throughout the year. The Secret Pal coordinator gives each pal a list of inexpensive things their selected person enjoys. None of the pals know who’s buying gifts for them until the Secret Pal reveal party in December.  A group of DHS employees started the program in 2015. You must sign up to participate.  

“An interesting aspect of Secret Pal is how it builds a bond between DHS employees regardless of the division,” said Secret Pal Coordinator Valarie Sanders. “It gives people a chance to meet one another and learn about what we do for the agency. I’ve learned a lot about DHS divisions and offices through interacting with other members of Secret Pal. Secret Pal is a fun, unique way to uplift our DHS coworkers, too.”   

For more information about Secret Pal email Warren at lakesha.warren@dhs.arkansas.gov or Sanders at valarie.sanders@dhs.arkansas.gov.

Arkansas Department of Human Services
Arkansas Department of Human Services

Arkansas Department
of Human Services
(501) 682-1001

TTY: 1-800-285-1131 or dial 711 for Arkansas Relay Service

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