Four days a week, Norm Jones toils away in a mountain of cardboard boxes. Behind the Lutheran Social Services on Boulder Highway, he helps sort donated food for the pantry. When that job is done, he helps people in need get what they need.
The smile is free.
“I’m in pain,” said Jones, “But there’s no better medicine than being able to feed a family that’s in need.”
Jones wears his jet black hair and thick sideburns with pride. It’s also a reminder of what he used to do regularly. Before the “King” lost his crown.
Thirty years ago, Jones was one of the most prominent Elvis Presley impersonators in Las Vegas. He also was the first to perform weddings, in costume, at Graceland Wedding Chapel downtown.
“I made a good living,” said Jones, “I helped a lot of Elvis impersonators that are still going on today.”
But age, time and business took their toll.
“My income totally changed,” he said, “A few disabilities as well. Can’t get around as good as I used to.”
Jones’s wife is battling cancer while he has had part of both legs amputated. Money for food started running out.
So, he found a different Graceland. The same food pantry where now, he volunteers.
“We were in like just like everybody else,” he said.
About a year ago, Jones started volunteering four days a week. From time to time, he’ll break in to song for those waiting for food, just like he did.
“If I have to look at my physical abilities and dwell on that by sitting at home and laying in bed,” continued Jones, “I might as well give up.”
Jones was nominated by staff at Lutheran Social Services for Channel 8’s Acts of Kindness award.
“The time back then, and now having less,” asked Jones rhetorically, “This is a blessing.”