One of Us: Major Tim Williford
Major Tim Williford is the corps officer for the Salvation Army’s St. Augustine Corps, which encompasses all of St. Johns County. He is also a member of the Rotary Club of Ponte Vedra Beach Sunset.
Can you please tell us about your background?
My parents are retired Salvation Army officers, so it was kind of like to me a “womb to tomb” type thing. They were officers when I was born. I grew up in the Salvation Army and then at age 19, I felt called to be a Salvation Army officer. I’ve been doing it ever since.
What are your primary roles and responsibilities with the Salvation Army?
On a weekday basis, I’m responsible for administration and making sure all the needs are met. For example, we do a food pantry, housing assistance, we pay utility bills. So, we have to make sure all those reports are due. We have a staff of about four or five, so I oversee them, I wind them up and I let them do their job.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
What a lot of people don’t know is that the Salvation Army is actually a church. We are in 127 countries. So, I’m a Sunday morning preacher. I enjoy being able to preach on Sunday mornings, plan and program and lead my congregation in worship.
How can people help the Salvation Army’s cause these last few days of the holiday season?
Money is always a good way. Many people think they should donate used clothing during times of disaster, when in fact, we’re buying pallets of food that need to be prepared into 5,000 meals. That’s not really a good time for us to have a bunch of used clothes. Most of the time, we wouldn’t even have a place to store it anyway. So, money is always a good way to help the Salvation Army’s mission throughout the year.
People are most familiar with the Salvation Army during the holidays. How can people help outside of this time of year?
There are always volunteering opportunities. We do feedings on a regular basis. We provide peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to a boys club every Wednesday. One day a month, we do Dining with Dignity feedings downtown. There are always volunteer opportunities. People can get in contact with our office or the office in Jacksonville to help out. Contact the St. Augustine Corps at (904) 824-6956.
What do you enjoy most about living in the area?
I love the beauty of it. I love driving up and down A1A and looking out at the ocean. I love coming across the Vilano Bridge at night and looking off to my right and seeing the St. Augustine Lighthouse. I love that it’s still a very hometown, small-town type atmosphere. It’s a place I feel safe. I moved here from Orlando, where it’s hard to navigate and home to a lot of crime. So, I really like the openness and the beauty of all there is that we have here in Northeast Florida.
What do you like to do in your free time?
Probably one of my biggest passions is riding motorcycles. I currently have two Harley Davidson motorcycles. I have one that’s a Cruiser and one that’s a Bagger. I probably ride 10,000 to 15,000 miles a year.
For a video portion of this interview, visit pontevedrarecorder.com and click One of Us.