Dolly Parton Creates My People Fund to Help Gatlinburg, Tenn. Wildfire Victims
Dolly Parton has stepped up for the people who've been displaced by the wildfires in the rural part of Tennessee where she grew up. The superstar has established the My People Fund, which will give much-needed financial assistance to people who lost their homes in the fires in and around Gatlinburg.
Parton announced the fund in a video which she posted to YouTube on Wednesday evening (Nov. 30). The fund, which she established through the Dollywood Company and the Dollywood Foundation, will provide $1,000 each month to Sevier County families who lost their homes in the fires.
"I’ve always believed charity begins at home and my home is some place special," Parton says. "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."
Dollywood was evacuated on Monday night (Nov. 28) as the fires in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge raged “right on the doorstep” of the attraction, Tennessee Emergency Management Agency spokesperson Dean Flener tells ABC News. Firefighters managed to hold it back, and Parton was able to hang onto the popular vacation destination, which has provided an economic engine for an area of the country that previously existed on subsistence agriculture.
"We want to provide a hand up to those families who have lost everything in the fires," the country icon states. "I know it has been a trying time for my people and this assistance will help get them back on their feet."
For more information or to donate to the efforts, visit DollywoodFoundation.org.
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