Volunteer of the Week: Stacy Weaver gives back in memory of her son, Reid

Published 8:00 am Sunday, September 17, 2023

This week’s Vicksburg Post Volunteer of the Week is Stacy Weaver. Weaver is originally from North Carolina, but she moved to Vicksburg with her husband and youngest children (Macy and Gray).  She enjoys traveling to Florida to visit with her oldest daughter and her only grandchild. Weaver works at Crawford Street Play School and volunteers with Lifting Lives Family Shelter.

How did volunteering with Lifting Lives begin?
I wanted to get involved in my new community, and one of the first connections was with the Boy Scouts. From Scouts, I became connected to a weekly story and activity time for the children at Lifting Lives Family Shelter. This match then grew into establishing a BSA girls’ troop consisting primarily of current and former shelter residents.

What are some of the tasks you perform at Lifting Lives and The REID Initiative?
I perform this work under the banner of the REID Initiative in memory of my oldest son, Reid, who was killed by a drunk driver while volunteering in a community service program. The REID Initiative’s goals are to encourage youth to REACH beyond their current status and be EMPOWERED with INTEGRITY to DREAM. In addition to the weekly story time and work with Scouts, the REID Initiative at Lifting Lives has helped enrolled children in local preschools, attend church camps, receive tutoring and participate in extracurricular events that otherwise would not have been possible. I have also been able to connect with other great organizations in the area, including the American Legion, St. Alban’s Episcopal Church and the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary, which have provided volunteers and financial support to help with our projects.

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What is your favorite memory while doing volunteer work?
Every day brings a new favorite experience, but a recent highlight was traveling to the National Scout Jamboree in West Virginia this summer with two of the scouts who previously stayed at Lifting Lives.
They worked with scouts from all 50 states and were the farthest from home either had traveled before.

What have you learned from volunteering?
From volunteering, I learned that you may not see the biggest impact you make. A toddler who develops a love of reading and learning through exposure at Lifting Lives isn’t going to remember which volunteers read to them or helped them with their ABCs, but the investment of time and energy will pay off in a brighter future. The belief in that vision keeps me going.

How can someone volunteer with Lifting Lives?
One of the great things about Lifting Lives is that all kinds of volunteers can help with different levels of time commitment. Some groups come in on one-day or weekend projects to help the physical environment by installing a basketball goal or playground equipment. Others like to form ongoing relationships through tutoring, game nights or story time. Every little bit helps.

If there is a volunteer who should be featured, please submit their name and contact information to volunteer@vicksburgpost.com.