Dolly Parton Donates $200,000 to Her Hometown Fire Departments
Dolly Parton just gave eight volunteer fire departments in Sevier County, Tennessee, where Parton [...]
Dolly Parton just gave eight volunteer fire departments in Sevier County, Tennessee, where Parton is from and where her famed Dollywood resides, each $20,000. She also donated $40,000 to an area training center, bringing the total to $200,000. The money was given from the My People Fund, which Parton created after the devastating wildfires in 2016, which killed 14 people, burned much of the mountains in Gatlinburg, damaging or destroying more than 2500 homes.
"It is only fitting that the last of the My People Fund will go to those who were the first to respond to the fires," Parton explained in a statement.
The Tennessee native created the My People Fund only 48 hours after the wildfires began. The fund was used to provide $1000 a month for six months to families whose homes were either uninhabitable or destroyed.
Parton also hosted a telethon, Smoky Mountains Rise: A Benefit for the My People Fund, to raise money, enlisting the help of her famous friends, including Kenny Rogers, Chris Stapleton, Reba McEntire, Cyndi Lauper, Chris Young and more. The event, which also included sizable donations from stars like Taylor Swift, Kenny Chesney, Dierks Bentley and more raised others than $9 million, which allowed the recipients' final check to be $5000 instead of $1000.
This certainly isn't the first time the country music icon has made large contributions. Parton's Imagination Library, which she started to help combat illiteracy in rural areas, provides one book a month for children up to five years of age. In 2018, Parton celebrated giving away her 100 millionth book.
Parton also recently donated a million dollars to Vanderbilt Children's Hospital in Nashville, in honor of her niece, Hannah Dennison, who was diagnosed with leukemia as a child.
Parton can certainly afford to be generous, thanks to working hard for more than five decades. The 73-year-old has had not only a successful music career, but also in movies and on TV, as well as her Dollywood theme park and other business ventures.
"When I was a little kid I always dreamed of being this," said Parton (quote via Variety). "I wanted to be a star — I wanted to shine and make money and travel and wanted my songs to be heard and show off, I guess. And all of my dreams came true!
"So now I have to work," she continued. "People ask, 'How do you work all the time?' Because I dreamed myself into a corner and I have to be responsible to those dreams. And I couldn't be happier, because every dream I have brings on a new dream, like a tree with deep roots and branches and a lot of leaves, and every time something happens it makes something else happens. I like being there, but it is a big responsibility."
Photo Credit: Getty / Rich Fury