Country Musicians Do Good in the Neighborhood

Giving Season Inspires Acts of Kindness Throughout the Nation

The holiday giving season is bringing out the best in the country music community and several artists are inspiring others to give back.

Dolly Parton’s Smoky Mountains Rise telethon on Tuesday (Dec. 13) brought in some big money donations for her My People Fund, which will provide monthly $1,000 donations to those who lost their homes in the East Tennessee wildfires. Monetary donations are still being accepted online through the Dollywood Foundation website.

Additionally, Frankie Ballard, Kelly Clarkson, Charlie Worsham and the Zac Brown Band are each hosting benefit concerts this weekend, while Drew Baldridge, Luke Bryan, Dan + Shay, Brett Eldredge, Kacey Musgraves and Chris Young have each donated some time to support those in need.

CMT’s pro-social initiative, CMT One Country, also offers volunteer opportunities nationwide through the CMT One Country website.

Here are 11 acts of kindness showing how these artists are doing good in the neighborhood.

Baldridge visited Nashville’s Litton Middle School Band this week to donate a new Bose speaker system and a custom Pelican travel case with the music education non-profit Music Makes Us. “We live in ‘Music City’ so no one should be surprised that I am a super advocate of music education,” he said in a press release. “I know how much my own life has benefited from it and, every day, people tell me that music healed their souls, or touched their hearts, or steered them down the right path, and I believe it is that powerful.”

For the last eight years, Ballard’s final show of the year has been a benefit concert in his home state of Michigan supporting a different charity every year. The 2016 benefit has been extended into a two-night stand at Michigan’s Kalamazoo State Theatre, starting Friday (Dec. 16), with a portion of the proceeds supporting the For the Linds Sarcoma Fund. The non-profit initiative started in 2013 to support sarcoma research in the memory of his late radio representative Lindsay Walleman, who lost her battle with the disease at age 28.

Bryan spent part of his Friday (Dec. 9) afternoon visiting with the Spring Hill Fire Department at their annual Christmas lunch at a local Mexican restaurant in Spring Hill, Tennessee. Ten firefighters from the department were among the first responders in the East Tennessee wildfires that devastated Sevier County and Bryan wanted to thank them for their service.

Clarkson’s Miracle on Broadway on Friday (Dec. 16) at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena will benefit four different causes this year. Proceeds will support research for Alzheimer’s Disease and memory care through Abe’s Garden, literacy through the Nashville Public Library Foundation, feeding the hungry through Second Harvest Food Bank and music education at the W.O. Smith Music School. The night will feature performances by Kelsea Ballerini, Chip Esten, Reba McEntire, RaeLynn and the SteelDrivers. Ronnie Dunn was forced to cancel his appearance after coming down with a cold and sore throat.

Over the weekend, Dan + Shay personally delivered cups of Starbucks hot chocolate to some dedicated fans who waited all day in the cold to see them perform at the Newport Music Hall in Columbus, Ohio.

Eldredge, Macy’s and Clothes4Souls visited the Nashville Rescue Mission on Monday (Dec. 12) to donate new winter coats to the homeless. Macy’s has donated more than 165,000 coats in its partnership with Clothes4Souls since 2013. 

Musgraves and her band spent part of Saturday morning (Dec. 10) caroling at a local retirement home before their show in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. “Starting now in the cities we come to I will do my best to make it to as many of these places as I can,” she posted on Instagram. “I was inspired to after seeing the documentary Alive Inside, which I highly recommend. One woman (Lillian) who was turning 94 told us that it’s our generation’s job to ‘do better than her generation.’ Grab an elder and squeeze them tight.”

[go watch the documentary "Alive Inside"]

A video posted by KACEY MUSGRAVES (@spaceykacey) on

Worsham is going home to Grenada, Mississippi this weekend to headline Saturday’s (Dec. 17) inaugural Follow Your Heart Scholarship Gala. Proceeds will fund a scholarship for a senior at Kirk Academy or Grenada High School with a passion for the arts. Fans can donate directly to the cause through the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.

Young has been collecting new and unwrapped toys for Toys for Tots throughout his final shows on the 2016’s I’m Comin’ Over tour. Donations for those impacted by the East Tennesee wildfires are being collected at the CMA’s Nashville headquarters through Friday (Dec. 16) and will be delivered on Monday (Dec. 19).

chris-young-knoxville2 Joy Kimbrough/JoyKPhoto

The Zac Brown Band will headline the Gatlinburg — Mountain Tough Benefit in downtown Gatlinburg on Saturday (Dec. 17). The day-long event will feature performances by Jim Lauderdale, Sam Bush, Derek St. Holmes, Jason D. Williams, Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley, Randy Kohrs, Sarah Potenza, Mo Pitney and Chelle Rose. According to Knoxville’s WBIR-TV, donations will support the East Tennessee Foundation’s Sevier County Community Fund and will be accepted online and in-person at the event.

Lauren Tingle is a Tennessean and storyteller who eats music for breakfast, lunch and dinner. When she’s not writing or rocking out, she enjoys yoga and getting lost in the great outdoors.