Heroes Among Us


‘When I die, I’ll stop,’ says local hero who provides food, money, and clothes

Posted at 6:16 PM, Aug 13, 2015
and last updated 2015-08-13 18:26:45-04

SPOTSYLVANIA, Va. -- Coin collecting is a hobby Jim Duffy has been enjoying since the 40s. The 77-year-old is always hunting for that elusive penny or dime, but it’s not the only thing he collects.

Duffy also collects food -- lots of it -- not for himself, but those less fortunate.

“A stranger can come up to me and if they need something I give it to them,” says Duffy.

The Guardian Angel of Spotsylvania is always on the move.

He crisscrosses the county every week making deliveries to the hungry, veterans and homeless shelters. Duffy also opens his wallet to cover electric bills, rent and gas money.

He never asks questions and never expects anything in return; hugs are the exception.

Duffy has been helping Dorothy Washington of Fredericksburg for more than 10 years.

“I’ll get out there and shout it to the world if I have to. He is a good man,” says Washington. “He helps everybody that needs help. All you have to do is call him and he will be there. That is what he does for me.”

Duffy relies on help from businesses and giving parishioners at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Spotsylvania who donate cash and cans.

Linda, his wife of 52 years, lends a helping hand. She often finds her living room crowded with shopping bags filled with donated food.

“It’s his whole purpose,” says Linda. “So it is a full time job. This goes on all of the time.”

“Duffy” as he is affectionately known around the county has been delivering necessities to the needy for 18 years.

“He is always there whenever anyone needs something. Always,” says Ann O’Brien. “I think it is amazing that God has kept him going this long.”

He is a fixture at the food banks and thrift shops. The Pittsburgh native learned a valuable lesson from his mom: Always look out for your neighbor.

“I don’t do it for anything. I do it because I’m glad I’m able to do it,” says Duffy. “Basically, I’ve been helping people all of my life without knowing it. It just comes natural.”

Duffy says he does have one regret.

“Most of the time you go into a poor, poor place you feel sad you can’t do more,” says Jim.

To the people he helps this lovable coin collector is a godsend. More valuable than pennies from heaven.

Duffy says with a chuckle, “I just think it is the right thing to do. When I die I’ll stop.”

If you know of a “Hero Among Us” you would like to see featured in my weekly segment email me at Heroes@WTVR.com