He is a native Texan, born in Houston, and is a graduate of the University of Arkansas with a BSBA degree in Marketing Management. Jim's 30 year business career was in Financial/Legal Services and Aerospace. Jim and his wife, Marilyn, who is an elementary school teacher, have one son, Bryce, who is a pricing analyst and a Bridges to Life volunteer.
At the age of 12, Jim Buffington’s mother was found murdered in the back seat of her car. The devastation to the family was indescribable. A year later, while still working through his grief, he was dealt another blow. His father and two other men were arrested and incarcerated for the conspiracy of his mother’s murder. Jim was to suffer yet another betrayal later in life when he discovered that the original murder conspiracy included his two brothers and himself.
Through this incredible journey, Jim has experienced both sides of the criminal justice system – as a child of a victim of crime and as a child of an offender on death row. Jim journeyed a long road of pain and betrayal that would lead most to a life withdrawn and full of bitterness. Jim chose another path however, one of healing and forgiveness. In his volunteer work, he has helped many victims of crime, as well as offenders, down that path to healing and forgiveness. Because of his unique experiences, he has an insight into the feelings of the offenders’ families that most of us cannot relate to. Jim is able to connect with the offenders and he helps them to better understand the effects their choices have had on their families and society.
Jim started volunteering with Bridges To Life in 2004 and then joined the staff in 2016. He also volunteers as a Victim Impact Panel Speaker for: Texas Department of Criminal Justice Victim Services, Dallas County Probation, Texas Youth Commission, Dallas County Juvenile Justice Department and Tarrant County Juvenile Services in Fort Worth. Jim is a Royal Famly Kid's camp counselor and Board Member for Trinity Kids, Inc, Board member for Lillian Smith Family Violence Foundation, volunteer with Bill Glass Prison Ministry and an active member of Fielder Church in Arlington, Texas. Jim received the Texas Governor’s Criminal Justice Volunteer of the Year Service Award in 2008 and the Dallas Cowboys Community Quarterback Award for Volunteer Service in 2007.