Dolly Parton, one of country music’s most enduring entertainers, said she will donate $1,000 a month to each family that has been left homeless by the wildfires that destroyed much of a town and left at least seven people dead in her home state, Tennessee, this week.
In a video statement published on her website, Ms. Parton said the newly established “My People Fund” would use online donations and money from her foundation and her extensive business interests to provide for these families for six months.
“I have always believed that charity begins at home,” Ms. Parton said. “And that’s why I’ve asked my Dollywood Companies — including the Dollywood Theme Park; the DreamMore Resort; my dinner theater attractions including Dixie Stampede and Lumberjack Adventure; plus my Dollywood Foundation to help me establish a ‘My People Fund.’
“We want to provide a hand up to all those families that have lost everything in the fires,” she said. “And to recover, we want to make sure that the Dollywood Foundation provides $1,000 a month to all of those families that have lost their homes in the fires until they get back up on their feet. I know it has been a trying time for my people, and this assistance will help.”
The iconic country music star, 70, is giving concerts in Texas this week as part of her biggest North American tour in 25 years, with dates in more than 60 cities.
In the next year she will release two albums, and she has a TV series that will trace her childhood, from Pigeon Forge, Tenn., to Nashville.
Ms. Parton is a native of Sevier County, Tenn., where Gatlinburg and nearby Pigeon Forge are.
Deadly wildfires have ripped through the region’s foothills this week, forcing thousands to flee as emergency responders sought to contain the blaze, which has been fueled by high winds and a drought.
Rain has helped to curb some of the fires, but the state’s emergency management officials said on Thursday there were still some smoldering patches.
Read more on NYTimes