When wildfires destroyed Dolly Parton‘s home county in Tennessee, she was devastated. While Parton’s Dollywood park was spared, she knew that many people were not as lucky. That’s when she decided to step up and help in a big way.
Parton established the My People Fund to provide assistance to families who lost their homes in the fires. When Parton announced the fund’s establishment, she shared that her goal was to raise enough to provide each of those families $1000 every month for six months. She hoped that this money would be able to help the families rebuild their homes and their lives.
After raising $1 million solely through getting the word out on social media and in interviews, Parton hosted a telethon to benefit the fund. After the initial broadcast on December 13 and a second one on December 19, the telethon has now raised a total of $9.3 million for the My People Fund, according to Nash Country Daily.
The first round of checks from the My People Fund were passed out this week. Now, an astounding number of families have received the first round of donations to help get them back on their feet.
In total, 884 families received a check during the first round of donations from the My People Fund. Parton issued a statement about the first batch of donations, and encouraged other families to apply for assistance if they need it.
“It’s a blessing during this holiday season that we are able to help as many families as we have so far,” she said. “We know there are more families out there who need our help and we encourage them to be in contact with us before our January distribution.”
David Dotson, the president of Parton’s Dollywood Foundation, echoed her sentiments. He reassured everyone that 100% of the proceeds raised from the fund will go to those affected by the fires.
“As Dolly said, the response has been overwhelming,” Dotson said. “We will distribute all $9.3 million to the families affected. That will insure all of the money raised will go to where Dolly promised it would.”
Just as Dolly promised, another round of checks will be distributed to the affected families next month. The second round of checks will be distributed on January 26 and 27 at the LeConte Events Center in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
In the meantime, you can still donate to the My People Fund by visiting the Dollywood Foundation website here. We’re continuing to keep all those affected by the fires in our prayers.