Dolly Parton’s Charity Work: Imagination Library, the Dollywood Foundation + More Important Efforts
At the 2019 Grammy Awards, a bevy of stars (including Little Big Town, Kacey Musgraves, Maren Morris, and Katy Perry) will join together for a tribute performance to Dolly Parton. Although we never need a specific reason to honor the country legend, this particular once-in-a-lifetime gathering comes in honor of Parton being named 2019's MusiCares Person of the Year.
Incredibly, Parton is the first country artist ever to receive the MusiCares honor. However, it's difficult not to think that the award is long overdue: Parton's charity efforts are legendary, not just in her home state of Tennessee -- where she's worked for years to improve literacy and promote education via programs such as her Imagination Library -- but worldwide.
Over the years, Parton has supported the United Way and the Save the Music Foundation; donated items to charity; and participated in the Make-a-Wish program. She's dedicated money, time and support toward animal rights -- in 2003, she received the Partnership Award from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in connection with Dollywood's American Eagle Foundation bald eagle sanctuary -- as well as HIV/AIDS charities (for example, she contributed the tune "You Gotta Be My Baby" to the benefit album Red Hot + Country) and health-related causes.
"I am impressed that Dolly doesn’t do anything that doesn’t grow to have a widespread impact," her longtime friend and musical foil Kenny Rogers told Parade in 2015. "It may start locally, but because of her focus and determination, whatever it may be grows to have influence in a much larger way."
Although it's tough to narrow down Parton's most impressive charity achievements, these are five of the most important ones:
In addition to the tribute during the 2019 Grammy Awards, Parton's philanthropic efforts will be honored at the 2019 MusicCares Person of the Year gala. The event is set to take place in Los Angeles, Calif., on Friday (Feb. 8), and will include a bevy of musical special guests.