Dolly Parton, the most honored female country performer of all time, is known for her humanitarian relief efforts. Just last year, she started the My People Fund to support those who lost their homes in the November 2016 Gatlinburg wildfires. The fund provided $10,000 each to over 900 Sevier County families whose homes were destroyed in the Smoky Mountain wildfires, amounting to over $8.9 million total.
Parton's latest philanthropic initiative is with the One America Appeal, an effort led by the five living former U.S. presidents: Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Jimmy Carter. The fund directs every cent of donations to the victims of hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. Parton has made a financial contribution to the fund.
In her press release, Parton noted that, “After the tremendous outpouring of support my hometown received last winter after the wildfires raged through the area, I want to do my part to help other areas affected by natural disasters. I admire and respect this effort led by our Presidents so it is an honor for me to contribute to their work.”
In addition, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has partnered with the nonprofit First Book and the company Penguin Young Readers. Parton’s foundation jumpstarted the campaign by donating 165,000 books and $90,750 to cover their shipping and handling charges. Together, the partnership aims to provide 500,000 books to hurricane victims through the First Book National Book Bank. Schools and programs affected by the hurricanes can apply to receive books from First Book, and books will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.
On the initiative, Parton commented, “I know in the immediate aftermath of a disaster books are not the first thing people need or miss. But I also know from our past experience that after some time has passed, families, schools and libraries are eager to replenish their shelves, and their hearts, with books. First Book asked us to join with them to get the right books in the right hands at the right time and we were pleased to do so."