On a beautiful Sunday afternoon, Nancy Weishaupt volunteers at the Oak City Outreach Center with her husband Jason, and their 11-year-old daughter Kylie. Their 13-year-old son is another regular volunteer with the family, but had other obligations on this day. The final member of the family of five, their nineteen-year-old daughter Sydney, was at home preparing dinner.
The Weishaupts volunteer from 3:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. on Sundays, a time slot which is typically hard to fill. While Nancy, Jason, Kylie, and Tyler are providing meals to others, Sydney is home preparing a meal for her own family. This is a routine that they have followed almost every first Sunday of the month since January 2017.
This particular Sunday, Nancy was presenting Rick Miller-Haraway, Catholic Charities Raleigh regional director, and Tosheria Brown, Catholic Charities program coordinator for the Oak City Outreach Center, with a check for $4,500 from RTI International.
RTI International is a nonprofit research institute with offices on four continents and the headquarters in Research Triangle Park in Durham. RTI International integrates expertise across the social and laboratory sciences, engineering, and international development.
“RTI’s mission is to improve the human condition by turning knowledge into practice,” Nancy Weishaupt, an RTI employee, said. “Every year our company does a charitable contribution and employees can submit places where they volunteer to receive funds.”
Weishaupt and Brown submitted the two-page grant application in December 2017. Together they answered questions such as “What does the volunteer do?”, “How long has the employee been volunteering?”, and “How will the funds be used to help people?” Weishaupt then heard back from RTI International in early March that her application had been approved, which led to the check presentation on this day.
Weishaupt submitted the application because of the incredible experience she has had at the center over the past 16 months. She was first interested in volunteering at the Oak City Outreach Center because of the opportunity to help others with her family. “We did research and learned that kids are allowed to come which was nice. Many times with volunteer opportunities, they don’t necessarily allow kids to come,” Weishaupt explained.
“I like handing out the groceries and being able to make a difference in people’s lives,” Weishaupt’s eleven-year-old daughter Kylie explained. When donated groceries are available, volunteers set up outside and Kylie helps to hand out what is in stock on that day.
The Weishaupts serve in various roles each Sunday. Some weekends they serve food while on other days they hand out napkins and clean garbage cans. They are there to help with anything that needs to be accomplished.
Volunteers like the Weishaupts strengthen the Oak City Outreach Center and allow it to serve approximately 300 individuals each weekend. Since opening in June 2014, the center has provided over 300,000 meals to the community. In 2019, weekend meal distribution will be moved to a new, more comprehensive facility, the Oak City Cares, which will be located on South Wilmington Street.