Tag Archive for: Salvation Army

A Special Christmas Gift from a Special Person

Paula Gail Benson

D. Reece Williams, III

met Reece Williams when I had the privilege of working with him on a federal
court of appeals case. He immediately impressed me as being the quintessential
lawyer and Southern gentleman. As we sat waiting for the judges to enter the
courtroom and the arguments to begin, I noticed him reading a small book. It
was a collection of Shakespeare’s sonnets.

who traces his family to Lancaster, South Carolina, in territory where Andrew
Jackson was born and spent his early life, has always been a supporter of arts
and community organizations. I’ll never forget him coming to a program I
presented with friends at the Museum of the Waxhaws and Andrew Jackson Memorial as well as a play I
wrote and directed for my church. He has served as a member of the S.C.
Philharmonic board and asked me to join him as a guest on the front row for a
performance. After being able to see the pianist and orchestra up close, I told
him, he’d spoiled me forever for seats further back.

adores his wife, children, and grandchildren, and has told me he would be
content for all of them to live under the same roof with him. Also, he is an
avid traveler and food connoisseur. Before I take a trip, I try to consult
Reece, who always graciously tells me about the places he has found most
interesting to dine in and see. I’ve never been disappointed in his

past week, Reece was in the news. When those of us who know him heard the
story, we weren’t surprised.

law school, Reece purchased a $250 Rolex watch, which he used in his adventures
with flying and sailing. The Rolex required a periodic $200 maintenance, so
when he later found a less expensive watch that provided all the extra time
keeping functions he needed, he put aside his Rolex.

he came across the watch and took it to a jeweler to be serviced. Amazingly, he
learned he had a collectible. The appraised value was almost $40,000.

many years, Reece had worked with the local Salvation Army and served on its
board. I’ve heard him say that he has seen people he has known in other walks
of life become dependent upon the Salvation Army’s services.

asked the jeweler to find a buyer for his watch. When that was done, he gave
the watch to the Salvation Army.

Reece, the gift just made sense. To his friends and colleagues, it was simply
quintessential Reece. Here’s an article with more information about his donation:

Merry Christmas,
Reece, and happy holidays! Thank you for the many gifts you’ve given us.

A Holiday Rant

From Bethany Maines

The Christmas Season is upon us.  The cards are filling up the mantle.  The lights are hung.  I’m dreaming of Christmas cookies, but
haven’t actually found the time to make them.  The tree is decked and if I have to go to the mall again,
someone else is getting decked as well. And I know who it would be – the
Salvation Army bell ringers.  I
know that sounds mean, and the truth is that I appreciate the Salvation
Army.  I donate to the Salvation
Army.  I even sing along during
Guys and Dolls (sit down your rocking the boat!). The Salvation Army is a good
and useful organization… that needs a bell-ectomy.

Those bells are not nice bells. They’re tinny and rung with
a sort of bored, off-rhythm malevolence that creates an aural graffiti for
shoppers. I’m convinced that it is this kind of repetitive, grating torture
that leads to Shopper Rage incidents. A little too many people in your personal space. One too many automated dancing
Santa’s. One more hideous, modern
and sugary rendition of a Christmas classic piped in on the overhead sound
system. One more bell ringer… And snap! The bags and fists are flying.  Yup, that Grandma just took down the
teenager with the emo hair and one too many pieces of face jewelry. It’s sad,
but it could be prevented, my friends.
And what about the shop employees? What have they done to
deserve having their day punctuated with non-stop clanging and noise? These are
the ones who help us find the right size, where they’ve hidden the figs, or
where the last one was buried in the back room.  Don’t we owe it to them to protect them from the bells? (Aw, God, the bells! The bells!)
I think it’s time the Salvation Army came up with a new
donation scheme. How about for every dollar donated the bell ringer will give
one minute of silence? Some might call it blackmail, but I prefer to call it
“creative finance.” Also, how about investing in higher quality bells? Possibly
if the bells had an actual musical tone they might not be such a blight on the
sound landscape. And of course, it
might help if some of the bell ringers had some musical talent, but possibly
that’s just asking too much.  For
now, I’d just settle for one simple Christmas wish – stop ringing the bell.