Jim Duffy has always been quick to help others in need, whether it’s answering questions for a new neighbor at Edgehill or serving food to unhoused individuals at Stamford’s Pacific House. On Tuesday, Nov 28, Mr. Duffy was honored for his lifetime of contributions with Edgehill’s Heart of the Community Award. In the spirit of Giving Tuesday, the award recognizes Duffy for an impressive lifetime of community service and leadership.
In accepting the award, Mr. Duffy, who turns 94 in January, noted how the nature of volunteering and philanthropy has evolved over the years. “It used to be volunteering one’s time, now it’s more focused on financial support.” Nonetheless, he says, “I wish I could do more. I wish I could give more.”
Edgehill is a continuing care retirement community in Stamford, Conn. managed by Benchmark Senior Living. The community created the award to recognize the important role philanthropy plays in enriching lives, and to showcase the impact one person can have, especially in their retirement years. Resident Joan Weisman received the first such award last year in recognition of her substantial efforts to raise funds for Stamford Health’s Hope in Motion Walk as well as the Walk to End Alzheimer’s®. Weisman was one of several residents who nominated Mr. Duffy.
Mr. Duffy’s philanthropic efforts include volunteer and financial support for Pacific House, New Covenant House, Scouts BSA, his church, and Edgehill’s Social Action Committee. He also grows a community garden, sharing the harvest with his neighbors and those in need. A native of the Bronx, New York, Mr. Duffy lived in Stamford for more than 50 years before moving to Edgehill. He has volunteered at both Pacific House—where he’s known affectionately as “Handsome Jim”—and New Covenant House for more than 40 years each.
“The associates at Edgehill, myself included, are consistently inspired and amazed by our residents,” said Edgehill Campus Executive Director Chris Cilano. “Mr. Duffy’s generosity is a key part of who he is and one of the reasons we are so grateful he chose to live here.”
(Caption: Edgehill Campus Executive Director Chris Cilano (L) and Benchmark VP of Operations Jake Quigley (R), present the Heart of the Community Award to Edgehill resident Jim Duffy.)