Thanksgiving may be over, but Dolly Parton says she loves giving no matter the time of year. Although she is primarily known for her stardom in Country Music, Dolly Parton is so much more. A businesswoman, actress, and author, Parton is certainly no stranger to hard work and being in the public eye. However, something that sets Dolly apart from many other celebrities is her diligence in philanthropy. It comes as no surprise that the beloved star is also incredibly humble about her efforts.
Giving Back in a Big Way
One of Dolly Parton’s most recent philanthropic acts had a huge impact. Late last year, Parton donated $1 million dollars to Vanderbilt University. Funds from Parton’s generous donation were put towards research for the Moderna Vaccine. In what was certainly a stressful time for the world, making that hefty of a donation towards vaccine research was huge. The development of the Moderna vaccine was key in America’s rollout of COVID19 vaccinations, and it may not have been possible without Dolly’s help.
The Dollywood Foundation
Dolly’s recent donation to Vanderbilt is just one of many commendable gifts the mogul has given throughout her career. For example, Dolly’s charity, the Dollywood Foundation, continues to improve people’s lives. The Dollywood Foundation was originally launched in 1988 and its first project decreased high school dropout rates in Parton’s hometown from 35% to 6%. The foundation was able to accomplish this by offering $500 to graduates. Since then, the foundation has pursued multiple projects geared to improve lives.
It seems Dolly has a special affinity towards education-related projects. Launched in 1995, her project ‘Imagination Library’ has donated nearly 170 million books to children under the age of 5. At launch, the project promised to send 1 book each month to every child adopted by the project. And of course, home is where the heart is. In October, Dolly Parton’s home state of Tennessee experienced devastating floods. The Dollywood foundation raised over $700,000 for victims affected by the rain.
Dolly Says,‘I Don’t Want to Be Worshipped’
It’s no secret that Parton loves to give to others. When speaking of her philanthropic efforts in an interview with People Magazine, the icon says, “I’m kind of addicted to the feeling of giving. Knowing that I’m doing something good for someone else”. However, Parton is incredibly humble about her generosity. This humble attitude is just one of many reasons why people adore the singer. In sticking to her roots and remaining humble, Parton tells People, “…I don’t want to be worshipped, because there’s a scripture in my Bible that talks about idol worship. And I see that happening all the time with movie stars and these celebrities. People literally worship them more than they worship God. And I just — I cringe at it sometimes. But if I can set an example, then that’s great.”
Dolly Parton will take the title as one of People Magazine’s People of the Year in 2021, her philanthropy certainly playing a role in earning the accolade.