Dolly Parton is giving back to her community after wildfires ravaged her home state of Tennessee. In 2016, the greater Gatlinburg area suffered the devastating natural disaster, where 2,500 homes were lost and 14 people were killed in the Smokey Mountain fires.
The legendary country singer created the My People Fund days after the events to help citizens affected with donations through her charity.
Parton’s official website says $200,000 was given to eight Volunteer Fire Departments across her home region of Tennessee’s Sevier County. Each department received $20,000, with another $40,000 being put toward their training center.
The chief of the Waldens Creek Volunteer Fire Department says their portion will go toward repairs and gear, while the training center donation will help build a new classroom. “It is only fitting that the last of the My People Fund will go to those who were the first to respond to the fires,” Parton said.
Along with the large charitable funds, Parton took more than 880 families under her wing to give them $10,000 spread across a six-month period following the wildfires.
Parton was recently honored as the MusiCares Person of the Year ahead of the 2019 Grammy Awards.