Dolly Parton has never been the kind of person who waits for others to help. She takes the initiative.
Her new Mountain Tough Recovery Team will continue to support those affected by the Smoky Mountain wildfires that devastated Sevier County and the surrounding East Tennessee areas in November 2016.
At least $3 million from her My People Fund will be earmarked for the new initiative, which will continue to serve the needs of local residents through the rebuilding process ahead. The program will begin helping families on June 1, and information on how to donate directly or volunteer can be found on the team’s website.
Since the My People Fund’s launch in December, the Dollywood Foundation has given $10,000 each to nearly 900 families displaced by last year’s wildfires. The fund was supported by contributions from across the country, as well as donations made through the Smoky Mountains Rise telethon.
Parton was in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee last week to help administer the final checks from the My People Fund to those affected by the wildfires.
“Over the last five months,” Parton said in a statement, “we’ve given nearly 900 families $5,000 to help them recover. Yesterday (May 4), we had our last distribution and I went over to The LeConte Center to say thanks to all the volunteers and to help give out a few checks myself. We matched what they’ve received already with another $5,000 check. I know $10,000 can’t solve everything, but I do hope the money will help them to dream again.”