Legend: Elvis' Christmas Eve and Christmas Morning 1970. Police headquarters. Visiting prisoners and all who had to work on these days.

We all know, of course, that Elvis was a philanthropist and humanitarian. The stories of his generosity are legendary. Yet here is a tidbit that I believe is a monumental testament to the true nature of this man. One that most people have never heard... one that was told to me after he died. He did not discuss the daily good deeds he did for others... both friends and/or strangers. I was so fortunate to witness them on a daily basis. Yes... daily... whenever I was with him. This quite remarkable story was actually told to me by more than one policeman, and deputies at the sheriff's department in Memphis at different times. I never knew this because I was home for Christmas with my own family and I am still amazed.

Christmas Eve was the night that Elvis chose to go make all his annual donations to the many charities he supported. But here is the story that runs chills up my spine and makes me tear up even as I type this.

On Christmas Eves... when most of us spend that entire special evening with our families, anticipating the exchange of gifts, Elvis left the house for a while and went to the jail. He visited every prisoner no matter their race, gender, creed and no matter the severity of the alleged crime... just human being to human being, and talked with every single one. I was told by the officers he would ask each one why they were there and how he could help them. And help them he did... in any way he could. He took notes, planned what he would do for each and every one he could possibly do something for.

How many of us would do this at any time? How many would do this on Christmas Eves?  Of course in most of our religions and particularly Christianity, we are taught that Jesus told us to comfort those in need, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, heal the sick, shelter the homeless etc. I was in prison and ye visited me" is one that I venture to guess not many of us, even though we call ourselves Christian Believers, would ever do.

He assisted them in any way possible. From contacting their families to see if they needed "anything" (Financial assistance while their loved one was in jail? Were their children alright? Their husbands or wives?), and making certain they would be assisted in every way once they served their time, made certain they had proper representation in the court by a decent attorney... and so forth.

This man... Elvis Presley... not only believed what he was taught, but physically acted on those teachings. Most of us (including me) somehow decide this one instruction is just easy to ignore and/or better left "out" of our good deeds.