Dolly Parton is a hero in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg; she always was.
Her actions in the wake of the devastating wildfires which swept through the region in late 2016 only cemented her legacy there. Back in December last year, we reported how Dolly Parton had established The Dollywood Foundation to assist with the support of families who were effected by the disaster.
It seems that, not only was Parton true to her word of issuing families with $1,000 per month so they could get back on their feet, she also allocated a supplementary $5,000 bonus this month.
Nearly 900 families received the assistance, each of whom were given a total of $10,000.
Parton didn’t finish there either. She also announced the introduction of the Mountain Tough organization, which pledged to further support victims with a fund of $3 million over the next few years.
According to the Knoxville News Sentinel:
Mountain Tough will start June 1 and pick up where the My People Fund left off. Its goal is to help individuals and families impacted by the fire by providing resources for low income individuals and families in Gatlinburg and the surrounding areas with an eye on the long term needs of those impacted. The organization will be staffed with case managers who will identify the immediate needs of residents and the most effective ways to use funds to help, which could include transportation to a job or medicine for health conditions caused by the fire.
“It makes me feel humble,” Parton said of being able to raise and donate money to the fire victims. “It makes me feel proud that I’ve been able to do something. But I don’t put myself on any kind of pedestal for doing this because it’s the right thing to do. I’m a Smoky Mountain girl, and I’ve been blessed in my life to become a celebrity. And when you’re in a position to help, you should help.”
The Sevier County area is rebounding from the blaze. Parton said “everybody has pulled together and things are back to normal.”
“All of Sevier County is really up and running,” she said. “It’s better than ever.”
For more information on Mountain Tough, visit www.mountaintough.org.