Full length portrait of confident janitors holding Thank You sign against white background

Many great things get a day, week, or month of recognition every year, so it’s only fair that the important, hardworking housekeeping professional get some love, too. International Housekeeper’s Week takes place every September and this year it takes place Sept. 13 to Sept. 19.

College and university housekeepers might have their most difficult fall semester ever, as they hope to protect students, staff and faculty at campuses across the nation. Some of these universities have such a massive enrollment of underclassman and graduate students that their campuses are themselves like little cities. Duke University in Durham, North Carolina is honoring the roughly 250 housekeepers that work for its environmental services department this week by asking its community to show thanks to these men and women.

Leslye Kornegay, who directs Duke’s environmental services, says EVS workers “probably have one of the most important roles on campus right now” because of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a story Duke Today. Luckily,  the report suggests students are taking notice.

Housekeeper’s week was started in 1981 by International Executive Housekeeping Association, more commonly referred to in the cleaning industry as IHEA. There are several reasons for this annual week of celebration, according to IEHA Executive Director Michael Patterson. One mission of the event is to annually demonstrate how the work conducted by housekeeping or EVS staff positively impacts patient care, hotel guests and the public. The event also demonstrates how these professionals are contentiously asked to do more by the people they serve and their employers. Additionally, the event serves as a reminder to honor the achievements of EVS and housekeeping professionals and to thank them for their meaningful work.