By: Meredith Hillgartner
There is something about Christmas that brings out the best in people and this year the best came out in Shelie Bravo-Williams.
“This ring, I actually bought him our first Christmas together,” Bravo-Williams said.
On December 23, the 7th anniversary of her husband Victors’ death, Bravo-Williams dropped one of his rings in a Salvation Army Red Kettle.
“He has some children that this ring was not specified for or anything so I am just holding on to it,” Bravo-Williams said. “I felt like this is what I was meant to do with it to help others because that is what he would have done.”
Bravo-Williams said each year she does something to honor Victor-something she does not even tell their children about; and said she was shocked to see her donation on the news the next day.
“In that tradition and in his honor is why I dropped the ring in the bucket,” Bravo-Williams said. “Never expecting to get it back.”
In the note she dropped in the bucket Bravo-Williams did not mention her or her late husbands name.
She said she wanted to be anonymous but finally came forward when she was afraid the Salvation Army would not get the donation.
“The donation would be made if I got the ring back, so I needed to make sure that that happened because that was the entire purpose,” Bravo-Williams said.
Another anonymous donor heard about the charitable act and stepped in to help.
He offered to buy the ring from the Salvation Army so they would get their donation and Bravo-Williams could have her late husbands ring back.
It was a move she said she was touched by.
“Widowers are a special group that no one ever wants to be a member of and we don’t have to meet each other to know what little symbolisms mean,” Bravo-Williams said. “I just appreciate him wanting to step forward and make the donation and let me have the ring.”
Now Bravo-Williams said she will continue to honor her late husband’s charitable legacy and pay forward the blessing she has been given.
“Having the ring back just means that I can help others in the future,” Bravo-Williams said.