For sisters Eileen and Shirley Stack, faith and education were the most important pillars of their lives. They spent decades working in Chicago Public Schools, starting out as teachers and eventually moving on to administrative roles. Though their profession was humble and their lifestyles modest – they invested their finances wisely. When the time came, the Stack sisters decided to share their blessings with organizations whose missions embodied their beliefs.

Eileen passed away in the late 90’s, and Shirley passed in 2001. But before Shirley passed, she started the Stack Family Foundation. This would allow her family legacy to live on forever, all while supporting organizations that were important to her. Today, Jim Corrigan leads the way as president of the foundation, and Mercy Home is one of the organizations they support.

A west side connection

Jim spent 15 years as a finance administrator in Chicago Public Schools, and during this time, he formed a friendship with the Stack sisters. When he became a financial advisor, Jim began to manage the sisters’ finances. As Shirley’s health declined, he helped her set up the foundation. Shirley served as the executive director, and when she passed, Jim took over.

As a kid growing up on Chicago’s West Side, Jim had heard of Mercy Home, but was not very familiar with the mission. One day, after hearing about a fundraiser at Mercy Home, he decided to make a donation from the Stack Family Foundation. Fr. Close, Mercy Home’s President and CEO at the time, was so impressed by Jim’s generosity that he invited Jim to the Home.

“We hit it off really well,” Jim said of his meeting with Fr. Close. The two discovered that they had much in common, like their roots on the West Side. Fr. Close asked Jim if he would consider joining Mercy Home’s Board of Regents.

“I didn’t think about it too long,” Jim remembers. “I said I’d be honored to.”

Making an impact locally

Over the years, the impact of Jim’s contributions both individually and through the Stack Family Foundation have been immeasurable. With the life’s work of the Stack Sisters in mind, Jim and his wife Mary, as trustees, have helped create countless scholarships and educational opportunities for our kids.

Jim also wanted to ensure that our children would always have access to quality healthcare. Along with a colleague, Jim helped connect Mercy Home with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois. To this day, BCBS helps provides benefits for our kids such as doctor visits, psychiatrist visits, and dental visits.

The roots of the Stack Family are in Chicago, and all of the organizations supported by the Stack Family Foundation are in the city or the surrounding area. In giving locally, Jim and Mary feel each contribution the foundation makes creates a significant impact. It also allows them to witness the impact firsthand.

“In addition to the financial help, we encourage support of the home amongst friends and colleagues,” Jim said. “I try to encourage people to schedule a visit to the Home, because seeing is believing.”

“I try to encourage people to schedule a visit to the Home, because seeing is believing.”

A new family legacy

In supporting Mercy Home, Jim has not only carried on the legacy of the Stack family, he has created his own. Now, like he did for the Stack sisters, Jim’s family is working to carry the legacy that he has built.

Jim’s son, who is also named Jim, not only shares a name with his father – he followed his father’s lead in supporting Mercy Home when he became a member of our Associate Board. And his two other children, Kevin and Eileen, have spent time volunteering at Mercy Home and other organizations he supports as well.

“All three of my kids – I’m proud of where they’ve come so far,” Jim said. “They all get it, and I hope I’ve made some impact on their lives as a result of my involvement in these organizations.”

We are tremendously grateful for the support the Stack Family Foundation has shown for our children over the years. And we are honored by the continued commitment Jim and his own family have made to our Home.

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