Dolly Parton is adding her name to the list of those donating to coronavirus relief efforts. The country legend announced on Wednesday, April 1 that she is donating $1 million to Vanderbilt University for research into a cure for the coronavirus, sharing the news on her social media pages.
"My longtime friend Dr. Naji Abumrad, who’s been involved in research at Vanderbilt for many years, informed me that they were making some exciting advancements towards research of the coronavirus for a cure," she wrote, encouraging others to donate as well. "I am making a donation of $1 million to Vanderbilt towards that research and to encourage people that can afford it to make donations."
Abumrad is the father of Jad Abumrad, who hosts the popular podcast Dolly Parton's America, where he shared that his father met Parton years ago and the two became close friends. Parton's message was met with an outpouring of appreciation from fans, including Reese Witherspoon, who commented, "Dolly, you never cease to amaze me with your generosity and your incredible spirit!!"
Wednesday's announcement is the latest in a series of uplifting content from Parton amid the coronavirus pandemic. On Tuesday, the 74-year-old posted a video sharing a thank-you to first responders, servicemen and servicewomen and health care professionals around the world for their efforts during the crisis.
"Hello, this is Dolly Parton," she began. "I want to shout out to all the first responders, all the servicemen and women and all the health care professionals all around the world for sacrificing your time and even your lives to help the folks in need at this time. I know it's easy for us to sit home and watch you on television and feel sorry for you because of what you're going through, but we are at war and you're on the front lines."
"We just want you to know we are praying for you and we appreciate you more than you can imagine," she concluded.
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Earlier this week, it was reported that Parton is launching a bedtime-story YouTube series on Thursday, where she will read children's books. Footage will include Parton and the interior illustrations of the books, which have been "carefully chosen for their appropriate content at this moment in time." The series will premiere its first episode on Thursday, April 2 at 7 p.m. ET on the YouTube channel for Parton's Imagination Library.
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