As always, great humility and heart come through as she states, “I hope the Lord will continue to bless me” during Dolly Parton’s philanthropy award acceptance! By now, the world expects nothing else of “The Smokey Mountain Nightingale.”

Dolly, along with five other individuals or non-profit agencies, was awarded the Carnegie Corporation’s Medal of Philanthropy in October 2022. The awards ceremony was held at Gotham Hall in New York, and in the video, Dolly talks primarily about her “Imagination Library,” but that is far from the extent of her giving.

The Imagination Library Project, founded out of Dolly’s desire to instill the love of books and reading in children, provides one free book each month to every child under the age of five in participating communities. Partner communities in several countries share funding with Dolly Parton, and currently, IL distributes 2 million books every month!

Listen as Dolly takes the stage and leads the audience in an original song in tribute to books! Dressed in a black and gold suit, she jokes about nearly having to remove her hair, generously decorated with bling, to put on the medal that hangs around her neck from a wide red ribbon. Dolly says she is “honored” and “proud” to be among so many others who are trying to make the world better.

Using her long, pink fingernails to create a rhythm, Dolly sings the song that tells how books grabbed her attention from the very start—hooked from the feel, smell, and look of ‘em! She invites the audience to sing along, but they need a couple of tries! We get a view of the elegant room and dressed-up guests as they join in. She jokes that they’re ready to sing “9 to 5.” Who can resist Dolly?

Dolly gets serious and tells the crowd, “I just give from my heart. I never know what I’m going to do or why I’m gonna do it. I just see a need, and if I can fill it, then I will.” She commends the other recipients for their wonderful efforts and teases one of the hosts when she needs clarification on the pronunciation of “Carnegie.” She is just so wonderfully genuine and warm!

Referencing her poor beginnings, Dolly says she’s pleased to be able to give and to do her part to help out. She thanks “the good Lord” for His blessings, and she gives Him praise. With a final thanks, Dolly bids goodnight!

What are the things that Dolly didn’t mention on stage? Dolly pays for band uniforms for many TN high schools. She purchased a Nashville strip mall to support the neighboring black community with royalties earned from Whitney Houston’s recording of Dolly’s hit, “ I Will Always Love You.” She’s raised large sums of money for disaster relief, and she gives each of her Dollywood employees a day off to do volunteer work at a nonprofit of their choice!

It’s not just one giant thing that Ms. Parton does for her community and fans. It’s a million little and large ways in which she makes the world a better place. We thank you, Dolly!

“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”” Luke 6:38

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