Dolly Parton gives millions to fire victims
Dolly Parton has given millions of pounds to around 900 families who watched their homes shrivel down to the ground after wildfires ripped through Tennessee last year.
The ‘9 To 5’ hitmaker started the My People fund after bush fires struck last year, killing 14 people in the Gatlinburg area and destroying thousands of buildings, and announced the last of the payouts were made this week.
She told USA Today: "It makes me feel humble. It makes me feel proud that I’ve been able to do something. But I don’t put myself on any kind of pedestal for doing this because it’s the right thing to do. I’m a Smoky Mountain girl, and I’ve been blessed in my life to become a celebrity. And when you’re in a position to help, you should help."
However, the 71-year-old legendary singer isn’t planning to stop her charity work any time soon as she has decided to start a new fund called Mountain Tough Recovery, which will continue to assist residents affected by the fires.
She explained: "Things you don’t even think about. For instance, medicine for older people, or people that have maybe been injured in the fire. Or people that have jobs, but don’t have transportation that maybe lost their cars in the fire. Lot of them did.
"Just those special needs that you don’t even realise they can go to the Mountain Tough folk. So they are set up to take care of that."
Dolly’s Dollywood Theme Park and DreamMore Resort were evacuated at the end of November after the blazes ripped through Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.
She said at the time: "I have been watching the terrible fires in the Great Smoky Mountains and I am heartbroken. I am praying for all the families affected by the fire and the firefighters who are working so hard to keep everyone safe.
"It is a blessing that my Dollywood theme park, the DreamMore Resort and so many businesses in Pigeon Forge have been spared."