Dear Friends: This week, most of us will gather with family and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving. Beyond the usual trappings of turkey and football, this holiday gives us a chance to reflect on the importance of expressing appreciation for all that surrounds us. It is one of those rare days that prompts us to pause our chaotic schedules, look around, take note of the abundance and simply give thanks. The English author G.B. Stern once wrote that “silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone.” Today, on the eve of Thanksgiving, I want to celebrate the abundance and the generosity of you, our community partners, as you consistently bolster our efforts to bring stability to residents throughout Spokane County. As you may know, our neighbors continue to rely on our programs more than ever before and having you there to reinforce our daily mission leaves us in a constant state of gratitude. Each morning, as I walk through the doors of our Fort Wright building, I feel honored and thankful to work for an organization that recognizes the potential in people. I feel fortunate to be part of a safety net that keeps families and individuals warm throughout the winter. I am humbled to work with colleagues who have such a heart for our clients, regardless of their circumstances. I am thankful that SNAP was there for the construction worker who stopped by our booth at Valleyfest in September. After 30 years of steady work, the man had undergone a quadruple bypass and needed to figure out a way to cover his mortgage. Thankfully, he had an appointment scheduled with a SNAP housing counselor the following week. I am appreciative of the chance to tell stories like the one of Clinton and Denise of Airway Heights that is featured in this newsletter. The Minnicks found SNAP when they needed a wheelchair ramp and weren’t sure where to turn. I am grateful that SNAP responded when the aspiring entrepreneur from Moldova stopped by our Financial Access office for help last year. One of many clients in our refugee lending program, the man was able to access a loan and counseling and now runs a successful trucking business. I appreciate the generosity of all those who have donated to our first-ever capital campaign, a list that now includes over 200 businesses, individuals, foundations and faith groups. I value the contribution of every cent to this important effort, including the senior resident who donated $2 in October. Not wanting to leave her name, the woman simply said that SNAP had helped her over the years and she now wanted to give back what she could. It is thousands of gestures — great and small — that make SNAP a reliable and nourishing refuge for our neighbors in need. For this and more, we offer thanksgiving each and every day of the year. In gratitude, Julie Honekamp, SNAP CEO Originally published: 11.27.13