Patrick Reynolds, grandson of R.J. Reynolds, has spent much of his life fighting Big Tobacco after cigarettes took the life of his father, as well as the lives of other family members.
As the executive director of the Foundation for a Smoke Free America, he has made a long career out of warning people about the dangers of smoking, much to the displeasure of his family.
Click here to read my column about Reynolds on MarketWatch.
Reynold’s is also behind BeAnElf.org, a non-profit group trying to bring a merrier Christmas to underprivileged children and their families.
The group recruits volunteers, or elves, for the U.S. Postal Service’s Operation Santa program.
The elves visit post offices and read letters that needy children have written to Santa, like this one:
“Dear Santa, My Mom needs money to pay bills. … Our furniture don’t match. Our fridge and oven don’t work a little. She prays for me. My Mom is sad. Please help. Sincerely, Katrina.”
They then deliver gifts to needy children and their families.
You must be Santa Clause, I told Reynolds during an interview. “No, I’m just an elf,” he said. “I’m not the big man.”
Still, I don’t think it’s a good idea to ask Santa for a carton of Camels.