WATCH: Dolly Parton Gives Speech While Accepting 2022 Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy Trophy

by Blake Ells
(Photo by Rick Kern/FilmMagic)

Dolly Parton accepted the 2022 Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy award in New York City. The country music icon has decades of charitable giving under her belt. Notably, she began the Dolly Parton Imagination Library which has provided thousands of books to kids for free. She spoke for quite a while about the honor when she accepted. You can see the entire thing below.

“I’m proud to have this,” she began. “I was afraid I was gonna have to take my hair off to get this on.”

She spoke about what an honor it was to be invited and began by thanking the people at the Imagination Library. Then, Dolly Parton offered a performance of a little tune that she wrote for the organization called “Books, Books.” She used her fake fingernails as a washboard to accompany the ditty.

“I’m very proud and honored to be a part of anything that is going to make the world a better place,” she began after concluding the song. “I just give from my heart; I never know what I’m gonna give or why I’m gonna do it. I just see a need and if I can fill it, then I will.”

She continued by thanking the people that paid tribute to her before she came to the stage.

Dolly Parton Accepts Philanthropy Award

As only Dolly Parton is able, she managed to navigate between being serious and light-hearted. She had the audience in the palm of her hand.

“I’m proud and honored to receive this medal,” she said. “I’ll probably sleep in this tonight since I just got it.

Then she joked about pronouncing “Carnegie.”

“Everyone always does that, don’t they?” she said. “Back in my day, my daddy would say, ‘Who do you think we are? The Carnegies? Or the Rockefellers?’ We just thought they were rich people and that was out of our realm altogether. It’s so touching to me to know that those wonderful people with all that money were also poor at one time. And they were so willing to give so much to do many. If I can just do part in this world, that’s all I’d ask in this world. I’m proud of the Imagination Library. That’s very dear to me. I just hope I can continue to do good things and I hope the Lord will continue to bless me. I give Him praise for all the good things that have happened to me.”

Dolly Parton founded the Imagination Library in 1995 in Sevier County, Tenn. It was statewide by 2004. In 2010, they provided their 25 millionth book. The non-profit organization is now global. It serves children from Ireland to Australia. Learn more about the organization at their website.