Like many Americans, Dolly Parton has watched the fires raging in the Great Smoky Mountains with a heavy heart. She wrote on her Dollywood theme park’s homepage:
“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.”
Being the place that she grew up and the home of Dollywood and its resorts, the tragic events unfolding are deeply personal to the singer.
— ABC News (@ABC) December 1, 2016
The country singer is now reaching out to the people of Tennessee faced with the destructive wildfires that, as NBC reports, have claimed the lives of 10 people, caused 70 people to be reported missing, forced people from their homes, and destroyed hundreds of structures.
And while the worst is hopefully over with rain having slowed down the fire, “the threat from this fire is still there.”
— ABC News (@ABC) November 30, 2016
Parton, who explains in a new video she has always “believed charity begins at home,” announced she has set up the “My People Fund” to help Tennesseans dealing with the devastation the fires have caused. The singer has pledged to give families who have lost their homes to the fires $1,000 a month for up to six months to help them with healing and recovery.
Parton discussed the details in her video, 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. 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.’ We want to provide a hand up to those families who have lost everything in the fires. To aid in their recovery effort, the Dollywood Foundation will provide $1,000 a month to all of those families who lost their homes in the fires for six months so that they can get back on their feet.”
Donations are welcome through Dollywood’s official website.
You can watch Parton’s whole video here…