Chat with Charles: The Spirit of Giving

December 12, 2017


Thanksgiving has come and gone, and we’re finally getting around to nibbling on that last slice of pumpkin pie in the fridge. We’ve done a lot of celebrating about what we’re thankful for this year, and as we look toward the end of 2017, it’s time to give back. This week on the Ernest blog we’re expressing our gratitude for a man who has spent his whole life devoting himself to helping those in need: our very own Mr. Charles Wilson!

This September, Mr. Wilson sat down for a heart-to-heart chat with employees from each of Ernest’s 12 branches. It’s such a wonderful treat to know our founder and CEO clears time on his busy schedule to give us an opportunity to better connect with Ernest leadership. Read on for excerpts from this special Chat with Charles, where we learn more about Mr. Wilson’s giving nature and his inspirational generosity.


As you may have heard, Mr. Wilson spearheaded an Ernest donation to the Houston relief fund following the hurricanes that devastated several US states. Thanks to Mr. Wilson’s gift, 7,000 cases of food were distributed to feed those affected by these tragic storms.

When Ernest employees began a round of applause for his donation, Mr. Wilson was quick to divert the praise right back at them: “I didn’t make it, all of us made it,” he insisted. “This whole day today, as far as I’m concerned, is to thank all of you for doing this.” We’re proud to be a company that can give back to our communities, and we owe it to Mr. Wilson’s leadership.

When we checked in with the Houston division, we learned about Ernest employees who jumped in to help their fellow Houstonians as the floods were still rising. Mr. Wilson was particularly moved to hear about their volunteerism in helping those in need. “What wonderful people! They love life because they know what life’s about,” he beamed.


Giving was built into Ernest’s DNA from the start thanks to lessons learned by our founders during their childhood. “From the first days in business, we felt that we could share with other people,” Mr. Wilson explained. “That’s what my mother taught us.”

Mr. Wilson and his brother Ernest grew up during the Great Depression, and their father passed away when they were both young. Even though their family had nothing, their mother always made arrangements to give to those who were less fortunate. With her altruism, she imparted to her sons that there’s always someone worse off than you are.

The brothers founded Ernest Packaging Solutions on the principle of giving, even when they had very little to give. It’s a true case of “mother knows best,” and Mr. Wilson is proud to uphold that tradition over 70 years later.


One of the defining moments of Mr. Wilson’s service in the Army was a true story of heroism. He was wounded in battle but felt that he still had much to give before he would accept medical attention. Our brave soldier drove a Jeep back into the battlefield to rescue his fellow wounded troops and got them back to safety. He earned a Bronze Star and Purple Heart for his outstanding service in giving back to his fellow soldiers.

Even now, he jumps at the opportunity to help those whose lives are at risk. A dear friend of the Ernest family recently fell ill, and Mr. Wilson arranged for his transfer to a hospital that could better tend to his condition. Mr. Wilson gladly reported that they brought him back to health with a transplant and radiation therapy.

You can watch the full Chat with Charles video on our Youtube channel. Learn more about Ernest Packaging Solutions’ history and the family who’s been Moving Packaging Forward for over 70 years by checking out The Wilson Files.