Generosity of spirit

As 2010 draws to a close and we begin looking ahead to 2011, I would like to encourage readers of The Mystery Train Elvis Blog to take a moment to remember those less fortunate than us. There are many worthy organizations out there that need your support, including the American Humane Association and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

One organization that Elvis fans in particular may want to check out is the Elvis Presley Charitable Foundation, which is run by Lisa Marie Presley and the rest of the Elvis Presley Enterprises management team. With projects such as Presley Place, the foundation continues the spirit of giving that Elvis promoted during his life.

Below is a circa 2001 statement from Lisa Marie, which I’ve kept for years.

There are many things about my father, Elvis Presley, that so many others and I can admire eternally. He rose from humble beginnings and when the realization of his dreams and aspirations exceeded all that he had imagined, it gave others hope – a new awareness of their own potential, whatever challenges they might be facing in life. With his success came the accolades and respect he deserved. However, the fame also brought with it a harsh kind of scrutiny and judgment that no one should ever have to experience. The truth of his artistry and his character always rose above this. It always will. His place in our musical and cultural history, and in so many hearts, will always be secure.

One of the very special aspects of Elvis Presley’s character was his generosity of spirit. He expressed it with benefit concerts and charitable donations that were well known by the public. But most of what he did for others was done quietly, without publicity. My father never once forgot what it was like to want, to need, to do without. He spent most of his life bringing happiness to others, endlessly giving to those around him. It is one of the things that I admire most about him.

In his own tradition of giving, we have created the Elvis Presley Charitable Foundation to do good works for the community and to honor my father’s memory in ways that I know would make him very proud.”
–Lisa Marie Presley

Lisa Marie sums up her father better in three simple paragraphs than perhaps anyone ever has in the last 75 years.

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Thank you, Elvis. You’re still bringing us happiness.