James and AnnaMarie Jackson

Jim and AnnaMarie were born in the same hospital room at the Samaritan Hospital in Nampa, Idaho exactly one year and one month apart. He remembers her as a little girl, with her hair hanging in ringlets. She remembers him singing with his family quartet. She took Spanish classes from his dad; he took her home to her daddy’s farm – and the rest is history.

Together they ran a grueling paper route to pay for their school. He finished his master’s degree while completing his undergraduate degree by attending two different schools at the same time. She received her teaching credential, which launched a life-long passion for teaching and learning. They moved to Denver for the promise of a job – a job that had evaporated by the time they drove their 1957 GMC truck into Denver. So Jim became an entrepreneur. He applied his diligent work ethic to the area of real estate development. By the time he was in his 30’s, he had amassed a fortune that would make most people envious. But, they discovered “just ‘cuz your rich doesn’t mean you’re happy”, as Jim is fond of saying. So they gave it all away!

Convinced of the obligation to share everything – including his remaining time in his life, Jim began to consult in the third world. It was on an economic consulting trip to Brazil that he encountered the startling state of third world healthcare. In response, he returned to Colorado to enlist help. Since 1987, Jim and AnnaMarie have worked as a team to save the lives of people around the world. At first, they loaded the donations of medical supplies and equipment into the old, brown Dodge pickup truck and unloaded the boxes into their garage. AnnaMarie helped sort while Jim retrieved more material. Today, PROJECT C.U.R.E. has several large trucks, and operates hundreds of thousands of square feet of warehouse space.

These two have traveled the world together, from the streets of China’s burgeoning cities, to the slums of South Africa. They have stayed in jungle cottages and Khazak tents. Together, they have been an example of teamwork and friendship – an example to pass to their children and grandchildren.

Jim and “Annie” have been married for 45 years. Along the way, they collected a couple of doctorate degrees, making them “the doctors Jackson.” They have two sons, Douglas and Jay. Doug left his career as an attorney and finance professional to join Jim at PROJECT C.U.R.E. Jay is a Captain at West Metro Fire Department in West Denver. They have one grandson and four granddaughters. All of these little kiddos love their Nana and Papa, and look forward to hiking the trails behind their mountain home, and hearing stories of far off places in the world.

In younger days, Doug and Jay remember the trappings of success. There were Mercedes limousines and old Bentley’s. For young boys, these were dream cars. When dad and mom gave them away, it made an impact that little else ever could. Suddenly, there was a tangible message that things don’t matter – even when they look neat and go fast. Only people count, and the obligation for those who have much is to help those who have little.
Once, their church was in the middle of a building campaign. They had already given hundreds of thousands of dollars for the concrete and carpet, the landscaping and stained glass windows. But they felt moved to give more. They decided that Sunday afternoon, on the curvy road from Denver to their home in Evergreen, that they should borrow the money, secured by a second mortgage, and give money that they would make sometime in the future.
Difficulties in the volatile real estate markets impacted the family cash flow from time to time. It became a game to see how much money the family could save. Whether ethical challenges or business adversities, they shared their tribulations, and their concerns became a family challenge. And when the values of diligence and integrity won out, the struggles became a family triumph.

For several decades, Saturday mornings have been a time of spiritual reflection at the Jackson household. AnnaMarie’s cooking skills are legendary among friends and family, and Saturday’s start with big breakfast. When the feasting is over, Jim grabs his well-worn leather Bible and begins a devotion. Friends and family have gathered around the table to reflect on a week gone by, and the issues ahead. International dignitaries from places like North Korea and Rwanda have been part of the family tradition. And regardless of those in attendance, the single message is one of the power of a faith commitment.
Thumbing through the pages, Jim’s Bible contains high-lighted passages. A remarkable number of those verses address the issue of stewardship – the teaching that we are only here for a short time, and our obligation is to use the things we’ve been given to honor God and care for others. Clearly, that is the basis for the work at PROJECT C.U.R.E. The example of stewardship in action is, quite simply, remarkable.

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