Come November, as people dust off their Christmas playlists and decorations and stores stock stuffing and cranberry sauce, it can be difficult to look beyond this year’s upheaval and stress to remember what the holidays are really about. Thanksgiving’s sentiment is in its name, yet it’s easy to forget to be thankful for the chance to fly home to loved ones and share memories and delicious food.

For some of us, our friends and family might live in different states (or countries), making this a holiday where we can reconnect, laugh over old memories, and form new ones. For others, our long hours and busy schedules might make home-cooked meals rare, so a chance to indulge on turkey and pie fresh from the oven is a welcome opportunity. Whatever the case, it’s important to reflect on the positive moments from this year and what’s brought us together.

While we have many reasons to be thankful, some members of our community are not as fortunate. Here are some of our favorite ways to show our thanks by giving back during the holidays.

1.    Volunteer at Eastside Baby Corner. A clothing, diaper, and food bank located in Issaquah, EBC gives essential goods to family in need. They are always looking for volunteers to help sort and organize donations.
2.    Help out University District Food Bank. Fighting hunger in Northeast Seattle neighborhoods for over 32 years, the Food Bank can always use donations or volunteers; there are plenty of open positions to accommodate different schedules.
3.    Adopt-a-Family through Bellevue Lifespring. Your family can help sponsor a struggling family for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or both. You’ll be provided with a list of food or gifts to brighten their holiday season.
4.    Calling all animal lovers. Donating hay and carrots to Raven Rock Ranch helps feed neglected horses as they’re paired with at-risk youth to care for them.
5.    Honor our wounded service members and their families through Heartbeat. As Christmas approaches, bring joy to wounded soldiers by buying gifts on individual gift lists, or creating and stuffing handmade stockings to be delivered to service members through Heartbeat’s Christmas Stocking program.

We at Juniper Capital are taking a break Thursday and Friday to enjoy family and friends, the Apple Cup, good food, and giving back to the community before returning to funding those who need hard money loans in Washington and the Pacific Northwest. From the whole team, Happy Thanksgiving!