Back in November of 2016, a rash of wildfires devastated parts of Eastern Tennessee, specifically Sevier County, where country legend Dolly Parton was born. Parton was quick to spring into action and help those who were displaced by the horrible act of nature.
In an effort to raise money of those effected, Parton hosted a star-studded telethon in December called The Smoky Mountains Rise: A Benefit for the My People Fund. The telethon was super successful, raising millions of dollars for those who needed it most. The My People Fund began distributing checks in the amount of $1000 a month, and would do so for 5 months, to each one of the nearly 900 families who homes were destroyed in the wildfires.
Parton was not done with her charitable efforts just yet. This week, when she arrived to help distribute the final payments to the impacted families, she announced that she was giving each family an additional $5,000 for a total $10,000 each! Simply Incredible!
“The My People Fund has been a great success. I want to thank my team, the Dollywood Foundation, my friends in the music business and the thousands of people from all over the country who opened both their pocketbooks and their hearts to help us.
Over the last five months, we’ve given nearly 900 families $5,000 to help them recover. Yesterday, we had our last distribution and I went over to The LeConte Center to say thanks to all the volunteers and to help give out a few checks myself. We matched what they’ve received already with another $5,000 check. I know $10,000 can’t solve everything, but I do hope the money will help them to dream again.”
Believe it or not, Dolly still wasn’t done! She also revealed another surprise – the creation of the Mountain Tough organization to provide ongoing support to fire victims over the next three years and the pledge to fund it with at least $3 million.
“We’re still receiving money, so we aren’t finished yet. Recovery will take some time, so a new organization—called Mountain Tough—has been created to help our people get back on their feet for the next three years. We’re giving at least $3 million to help this new organization begin the next chapter of our journey.”
This woman seriously has a heart of gold. Parton commented on being able to help raise and donate money to the wildfire victims and her humility shone through in her statement:
“It makes me feel humble. It makes me feel proud that I’ve been able to do something. But I don’t put myself on any kind of pedestal for doing this because it’s the right thing to do. I’m a Smoky Mountain girl, and I’ve been blessed in my life to become a celebrity. And when you’re in a position to help, you should help.”
Source: Webster PR
A karaoke obsessed, craft beer enthusiast and lover of all things pop culture, Denise enjoys all facets of entertainment from Broadway to box office blockbusters. In her spare time, she enjoys photography, concerts (lots and lots of concerts), volunteering, reading and playing with her rescue kitten, Samantha (who rescued who, right?).