RACE: Fostering Empathy

What does the word “race” mean to you? At the start of summer, Foundation staff and board members spent an afternoon reflecting on that question and more, as we toured the RACE exhibit at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh. As a part of our ongoing … Continued

Mental Illness: The Person Behind a Diagnosis

Mental illness was a barrier that kept Brent Parrish from reading fluently. His childhood education didn’t address his mental health and kept him from reaching his full potential. Parrish, who is in his 50’s, watched President Barack Obama’s farewell address in January, and he didn’t understand some of the complex … Continued

Giving Young Parents a Brighter Future

Parenting a child while in high school makes college seem out of reach. But Beth Harrington got a boost when she needed it most — a scholarship that opened doors to higher education and a better life for her son, Nathan. The de Grange Scholarship paid for two years at … Continued

Importance of Wrap-Around Care

Burma Spinks first came to the White Oak Foundation looking for help for her 87-year-old mother. But she ended up finding a community of support for herself as well. Spinks, who is currently in her 60s, and her mother visited the Foundation’s food pantry and attended many of the Senior … Continued

One Encounter Changed Him Forever

She walked into the rural Florida emergency food center on the arm of a disheveled, swaggering man. She was noticeably younger, she didn’t speak, and her gaze only fleetingly raised to meet Tim’s that day. The man she came with did all the talking, and when they left that day, … Continued

Focus on Housing: On the Road in East Durham

Donors and community leaders joined Foundation staff for two simultaneous bus tours of East Durham in early March, one based on Education and the other on Housing. The following story is one writer’s account of the Housing tour. To view a photo-journalistic account of the Education tour, please click here. … Continued

Second Helpings: Aiming to Break the Cycle

Drew Doll applied for 138 different jobs in the 30 days after he was released from prison. ​“One-hundred-thirty-seven said no,” Doll said, “But I kept at it.” ​He landed an accounting job and started putting his life back together. But he was troubled by the experience he had, one that’s … Continued

Solving the Problem of Generational Poverty

About two years ago, Kirby Jones and Albert Fisher started talking about the problem of generational poverty. Both men lead nonprofits in Wake County designed to help the poor, but their separate efforts didn’t seem to make lasting change. For years, nonprofit organizations have used a siloed method, Jones said, … Continued