Dolly Parton’s Dollywood Foundation has started a My People Fund to aid victims of the Eastern Tennessee wildfires that sparked earlier this week. Parton announced that her companies will donate $1,000 per month for six months to assist the families who lost their homes.
“As you may know by now, there have been terrible wildfires in the Great Smoky Mountains, the same mountains where I grew up and where my people call home,” Parton states in a video.
“I have always believed that charity begins at home. That’s why I’ve asked my Dollywood Companies – including the Dollywood Theme Park, and DreamMore Resort; my dinner theater attractions including Dixie Stampede and Lumberjack Adventure; and my Dollywood Foundation to help me establish the My People Fund.”
“We want to provide a hand up to those families who have lost everything in the fires. To aid in their recovery effort, the Dollywood Foundation will provide $1,000 a month to all of those families who lost their homes in the fires for six months until they can get back up on their feet.”
More information about the My People Fund will be made available on Friday, December 2nd and the public is encouraged to help, if they can.
Dollywood and its cabins have been spared, but more than 700 buildings have been damaged along with seven confirmed deaths and more than 50 people injured. Officials state that Monday’s (Nov 28th) wildfires began days earlier on a trail in the mountains about ten miles south of Gatlinburg in Sevier County, Tennessee. Strong winds that began on Sunday helped spread the fires into the Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge areas. Investigators believe the fires were “human caused,” but would not elaborate, and are currently investigating.