Volunteer Profile: Edie Kufta

About 10 years ago, Edie Kufta dropped off toy donations collected by her senior-housing community for the hospital’s Toy Closet Program. So began the start of her longtime involvement with the Auxiliary, community service and rewarding experiences with young patients.

“I’ve been on the Toy Closet Committee the longest,” Kufta said, now stocking the inventory about once a month. “I’m 84, but I don’t act my age,” she said with a smile.

Auxiliary volunteer hours are only one of the ways Kufta, a New Haven resident, stays involved in the community. She is a former actress – who has a Screen Actors’ Guild card – and volunteers at Hole in the Wall Theatre, organizes her Class of 1951 reunions, and regularly takes the train to visit her daughter’s bar, Kettle of Fish, in New York City.

Kufta notes that the Toy Closet isn’t really a singular closet. The program supports 23 locations, and all need regular stocking to ensure that infants, toddlers, children, pre-teens, and teens leaving the hospital’s inpatient and outpatient care areas get something to take home.

She enjoys the work and its rewards: happy faces. “One child came in and saw all the toys,” Kufta said. And though the child wasn’t a hospital patient, she said to her mother, “Can I get my tonsils out?’”