Jim Payson was six years old, mowing grass for neighbors, when he discovered that he loves to help others.
“The desire has stayed with me. I think it is in my nature,” says the Loveland, Colorado, resident.
Whether spurred by nature, nurture or faith, Jim has spent recent years making good things happen for the residents and staff at Good Samaritan locations in northern Colorado.
“I asked Jim to consider a gift to our fence project,” says Michael Fitzsimmons, donor engagement director at Good Samaritan – Bonell Community. “Jim said ‘no’ if it meant placing his name on the pillar, but ‘yes’ if he could use the plaque to honor one of our hard working, long-term employees who had not missed a day of work in 38 years.
“That’s Jim,” Michael says. “It’s all about others.”
While the Good Samaritan has several campuses in Colorado, Jim spends a lot of time at the campuses in Greeley and Loveland. He knows many of the residents by name.
“I am deeply grateful for Jim’s compassion,” says Craig Nelsen, director of donor engagement at Good Samaritan – Loveland Village. “Jim’s wife Jo started volunteering when her parents were residents and she inspired Jim’s involvement. He runs a business, yet he comes when he can to help the residents play bingo. And every Sunday, he is here for church with his 94-year-old father-in-law.”
Jim first became involved with the Society through his family and business interactions.
What they do here, caring for older people, got to my heart, and I realized that I could do things to help.” - Jim Payson, volunteer and donor
Jim sold a successful business in Illinois before moving to Colorado. Two companies later, Jim is a respected member of the business community, known for his hard work, creativity and fair treatment of employees. These business endeavors have in turn enabled him to be generous with his time and resources.
If you were to ask Jim to describe himself, he would say that he “is just a regular guy.” Ruth Leitel, the recently retired executive director of Good Samaritan – Bonell Community, would argue with that description.
“Jim is special,” Ruth says. “He notices people and picks up on their unique qualities. He notices problems and solves them. Jim chooses to use his gifts to make a wonderful difference in many important ways.”
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