Country singer Dolly Parton has been doing her bit during the pandemic. In response to the COVID-19 crisis, the 9 to 5 singer donated $1m towards research at the Vanderbilt University Medical Centre in her home state of Tennessee, which was one of the trial sites for the Moderna vaccine.
But Dolly was always passionate about helping others long before the pandemic. In 1988, she created the Dollywood Foundation and began by offering scholarships to local high school students.
In 1995, this expanded into the Imagination Library serving children in Sevier County, Tennessee, where Dolly was born and raised.
Inspired by her own father's inability to read and write, she set about finding a way to help children fall in love with books. The programme gave free books to children from birth to age five and has since expanded all over the United States and to Canada, Australia, the UK and Ireland. More than 120 million free books have been handed out to kids.
Always determined to help her home state, Dolly established the My People Fund after the 2016 Great Smoky Mountains wildfires. Households in Sevier County affected by the fires were allowed to collect $1,000 per month for up to six months to help rebuild their lives. The fund assisted more than 900 families.
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