Mother, daughter give back to assistance program that once helped them

A Spokane mother and daughter are drawing from their past to improve the future of their community.

Every week, you’ll find Patricia Bishop at the Spokane Neighborhood Action Partners (SNAP) office. Some days she volunteers to do data entry, while other days she labels mail.

“I love it,” Patricia Bishop said.

Not even chemo can keep her away.

“When you do this, it keeps your mind off yourself,” Patricia Bishop said.

First she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Not long after she was in remission, she got more bad news. The cancer spread to her bones.

“That kind of halters your life. You can’t move. You can’t walk,” Patricia Bishop said.

Patricia Bishop has found strength in some of the people who work alongside her at SNAP, including Nicole Bishop. That’s her daughter. Nicole serves as SNAP’s marketing and communications specialist.

It turns out, the feeling of inspiration goes both ways.

“If I’m having a rough day, it’s one of those things that puts it into perspective and I’m like, if she can be strong, I can be strong, too,” Nicole said.

Their passion for serving SNAP is unparalleled. The very group they volunteer and work for is the one that helped them years ago.

It was the 90s. Patricia was a single mom doing her best to raise her kids in a new city.

“We came, basically, with the clothes on our back,” Patricia said.

Patricia needed help keeping her children warm. So, she applied for SNAP’s energy assistance program.

“When you need help, you can turn to them,” Patricia said.

Patricia is one of thousands who rely on SNAP for help every year. Each person has a story to tell and a future to fill.

“Give someone a chance. Let them keep their dignity and at the end of the day, you’re going to have the opportunity to have someone like me come into the position to help and someone like my mom to volunteer alongside that,” Nicole said.

SNAP changed the Bishop’s lives then, so they’re returning the favor now.

“I feel that in a little way, I’m giving back,” Patricia said.

Learn more about the vast resources offered by SNAP here.