Giving Thanks with SNAP

An Update on A Walk Through Poverty Documentary

November 24, 2016 by Megan

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Meet Danny and his friend Shawna. Neighbors in a sense, they first met when Shawna offered Danny a cup of coffee where he sat, homeless, lingering in the alleyway behind her home. He’d been without a home for the better part of a decade, and he didn’t care for coffee. Yet Danny and Shawna formed a trust and friendship that evolved and eventually changed both of their lives for the better.

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Danny grew up here in Spokane, and he shares memories easily in his old neighborhood. He attended college at one time, and worked at an auto painting shop that has long since closed. But sometimes unbearable loss derails a person, and takes their story down an unexpected turn. A quiet alley to sit and be left alone in many years later found him in the right place at the right time to connect with a hopeful future once again.

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As Shawna grew a trust with Danny, she encouraged him to connect with resources through SNAP’s downtown office, where she happens to oversee their homeless services. In the meantime, she encouraged neighbors to leave him be and not worry.

“I could tell he was harmless. If anything, he was looking out for our neighborhood,” said Shawna.

Not only did Danny eventually receive housing, but Shawna submitted a wish for Danny through Umpqua Bank’s Wish Upon a Star program… that his new house be made into a home. Just in time for Thanksgiving, Danny has comforts of home and a safe space to call his own.

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“When our neighbors struggle, we want to help and we want to see it count. We yearn to create a connection – to make a lasting difference in their lives. Our Wish upon a Star giving program, does just that.” – Umpqua Bank

We had the opportunity to capture Danny and Shawna’s friendship as well as the kindness of local Umpqua volunteers as part of an unfolding documentary project for SNAP that will be released in the new year. For 50 years, SNAP has served the Spokane region as a leading voice on poverty. Last year, they served over 41,000 low-income neighbors in our community, including Danny.

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We are immensely thankful for the transformative power of friendship, community, giving, and gratitude. And for storytelling, and the connection that it creates. Happy Thanksgiving.

Megan Kennedy

Written By Megan

With over 15 years of video production experience, Megan invests heart and mind into every project, from directing and editing national PSA campaigns, to producing complex human interest documentaries, to developing extensive digital and multimedia campaigns. She also leads the team’s photography services, specializing in crafted portraiture, product photography, and creative and conceptual imagery for marketing. She is an active member of Executive Women International, and she is dedicated to community stewardship through her work within the City of Spokane and North Monroe Business District. In 2015, she was named an Emerging Business Leader by Inland Business Catalyst magazine, and in 2018 won the Dussault Community Impact Award for her work and dedication in producing the documentary “A Walk Through Poverty.”

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