Dolly Parton Starts Fund for Tennessean Wildfire Victims
Dolly Parton has set up a fund to help victims of the Tennessee wildfires.
The 70-year-old singer is famous for her philanthropic efforts and has now turned her attention to those whose homes were ravaged in fires earlier in the week.
Her new My People Fund will give $1,000 each month, for six months, to those families in Sevier County, Tennessee, who have been left homeless and devastated following the fires.
In a video explaining her decision to donate the money, “Jolene” singer Parton said she is keen to help people get “back on their feet” after the fires.
“I’ve always believed charity begins at home and my home is some place special,” she said. “That’s why I’ve asked my Dollywood Companies – including the Dollywood theme park, and DreamMore Resort; my dinner theater attractions including Dixie Stampede and Lumberjack Adventure; and my Dollywood Foundation – to help me establish the My People Fund. We want to provide a hand up to those families who have lost everything in the fires. I know it has been a trying time for my people and this assistance will help get them back on their feet.”
Parton is well aware of the devastation these fires have caused, as her Dollywood theme park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, was also under threat from the flames earlier in the week.
While cleaning up debris from the fires in the ground of the theme park, Dollywood human resources training coordinator Isaac McCord stumbled across a burned page from a bible. He shared a picture of the remains on his Facebook page, and told USA Today he had been prompted to do so when he and co-worker Misty Carver noted the words that were left visible.
“At first, we didn’t know what part of the book it was from,” he said, “but we saw bits and pieces about fire and scorching the land, and how the beast groaned and roared for help. We were like this is unreal, this is unbelievable. When we had both fully read it, we looked at each other – and I will never forget this moment – we both burst into tears. I was ghost white, and we just prayed. There was nothing else to do.”
More information about Parton’s My People Fund is set to be revealed on Friday. To donate to the fund, visit dollywoodfoundation.org.