Dolly Parton donates $1,000 a month to families who lost homes in Tennessee fire
One of the classiest things to do if you’re rich is give some of it away, all the time, right? But Dolly Parton giving $1,000 a month to Tennessee wildfire victims isn’t just classy, it’s probably the nicest thing you’ll hear all day. Parton is just absolutely delightful all around, but the fact that she’s willing to step up and help every family over an extended period of time, is proof that she’s dedicated to helping her hometown.
The wildfire that tore through Gatlinberg has killed up to seven people, others are still missing, and people’s homes have been completely destroyed. One resident told USA Today that the town looked like an “apocalyptic wasteland.” The newspaper reported that his voice was still scratchy from inhaling all of the smoke; these people have been through it over the past week.
Parton released a video statement saying, “As you may know by now, there have been terrible wildfires in the Great Smoky Mountains, the same mountains where I grew up and where my people call home,”she said. “We want to provide a hand up to those families who have lost everything in the fires.” So she’s pooling her resources to make that happen.
She said in the statement,“I have always believed that charity begins at home. 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.” Together they will give $1,000 a month to families for six months. She’s also asking other people to donate to her foundation to help, too.
That’s not a huge sum for someone who’s lost everything. But $1,000 a month can really help offset the costs of everyday life and help start the rebuilding process, especially since people will probably have problems getting to work if they’ve been evacuated or their business was destroyed.
More than 14,000 people have been evacuated. Resident Gary Owenby told CNN, “We’re going to dwell on the positives, we’re going to look to a brighter future, we can’t look back. The things I’ve known probably don’t exist anymore. And I can just close my eyes and have that memory in my heart. That will last.”
Parton is just as heartbroken. She said on Monday, “I am praying for all the families affected by the fire and the firefighters who are working so hard to keep everyone safe.” In her message, she also thanked the Red Cross and asked people to donate to the Red Cross directly over the holidays to help the families there.
Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors is already out, too, and you should probably watch it just in case you weren’t already convinced that Parton is an actual angel.