Dolly Parton is well known for her generosity. The 72-year-old has provided up to $60,000 for students in need from the Sevier County High School, where she is from, for years. She also opened the Dolly Parton Birthing Unit at the LeConte Medical Center in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., so families wouldn't have to drive to Knoxville, about an hour away.More recently, Parton donated $1000 a month for six months to families displaced by the tragic Gatlinburg wildfires, through her My People Fund, which gave away more than $8 million. Her Smoky Mountains Rise: A Benefit for the My People Fund raised over $9 million, with Parton pledging and additional $3 million to help the area rebuild.
But perhaps what the singer is best known for is her Imagination Library, inspired by her father's illiteracy, and created as a way to help children, regardless of income, have access to books.
On Tuesday, Feb. 27, Parton gave away her 100 millionth book, donating it to the Library of Congress.
“It makes me feel proud of who I am, where I'm from and the fact that I am in a position to help people and especially the kids,” Parton said (quote via ABC News). “It's so important to me because if you can teach children to read they can dream and if you dream you can be successful.”
The Country Music Hall of Fame member, who remains humble about her numerous awards and accolades, admits the Imagination Libary achievement is something she is proud of.
“Yesterday when we put the book in the Library of Congress -- I really felt like mom and daddy were just up there looking down thinking, ‘You go,' she shared. "So I felt really proud that I could honor momma and daddy."
The country music icon also announced the Imagination Library is partnering with the Library of Congress for a new initiative, where a book will be read during a live stream and shared with libararies all over the country.
Earlier this year, Parton set two Guinness Book of World Records, for being the artist with the most hits on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart, with 107 hits by a female, and the most decades with a Top 20 hit on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, spanning six decades on the chart.
But even with that achievement, Parton says the thing she wants the most has to do with the Imagination Library, and not her own success.6comments
"I feel very proud and honored to have two," Parton said. "And maybe I'll have another one one of these days. Who knows? I'm not done yet ...I just want to get more books in the hands of more children, so maybe someday I can be in the Guinness Book of World Records for giving the most books to the most children."
Photo Credit: Facebook/Dolly Parton's Imagination Library