Dolly Parton CC image courtesy of Alejo Castillo on Flickr
The name Dolly Parton is universally known, whether you listen to country music or not. For many, hearing her name brings up images of a beautiful petite blonde with a big smile and a curvy bust. But for those of us who have been raised with a love for the fabulous country legend, we know that there is so much more to Dolly Parton than meets the eye. Her generous heart, charm, wit, and love for her family and neighbors are some of the qualities she possesses which I hope to instill in my daughters. Although this list could go on for days, here are 7 reasons to love Dolly Parton!
1. In 2015, Dolly’s hometown was ravaged with fires. Parts of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge were burned leaving displaced victims in shelters and in need. Not one to sit back and watch while her hometown suffered, Dolly announced the creation of her ‘My People Fund’, which provided each family who lost their primary home $1,000 a month for five months. She later surprised them by providing an unexpected check for $5,000 to each of these families. She created the ‘Mountain Tough’ organization which provides continual support to fire victims for three years, pledging at least $3 million dollars to fund it. She even made a video with Smokey the Bear to encourage fire safety to prevent future forest fires!
She is quoted as saying, “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.”
2. She has been steadfast in demonstrating confidence and a true sense of self. “Find out who you are and do it on purpose,” is one of her many inspirational sayings. While it would be easy to dismiss her as just another beautiful woman, she has maintained her poise and class. On her path to fame, she shattered glass ceilings and, with her southern charm, paved the way for women to succeed and still be feminine.
3. She is extremely patriotic and an avid supporter of our military. When asked to represent the Boot Campaign, a non-profit organization who provides assistance to military personnel and their families, she stepped up.
“So many people, regular folks and celebrities, send out love and sincere thanks to you for keeping us safe and fighting for our freedom,” Dolly says. “Let me add to that loving list. Thank you from the bottom of my country heart. I will always love you.”
4. Inspired by her song, “ Coat of Many Colors”, she released a children’s book by the same name in 1994. The book, like the song is based on Dolly’s own impoverished childhood. Her message is one that every child should learn – riches come in a variety of ways. Dolly’s coat of many colors, made for her by her mother, was more important and “rich” than anything that could be purchased at a store. With the song, book and movie versions, Dolly continues to teach future generations the importance of appreciating what you have.
5. In 1995, Dolly created the Imagination Library, with a goal to foster a love of reading in her hometown county in Eastern Tennessee. Monthly, she would mail a special book to preschool children and their families to encourage literacy, regardless of their income level. Since its inauguration, the program has expanded to say the least. With one million free books mailed each month to children in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia. The Imagination Library website also provides resources to start the program in your hometown community as well!
6. Dolly has a wickedly funny sense of humor. She is known to have a quick wit and self-deprecating humor that catches even the most advanced interviewer off guard. Telling it like it is has been something Dolly prides herself in. Growing up, Dolly says, one quote that stuck with her was that she was smart enough to know everything and dumb enough to say it out loud. She has been in the spotlight for decades and is now known for wearing wigs and undergoing cosmetic surgery. Some people would want to keep such personal details under wraps, but not Dolly. On the topic, Dolly has said, “It takes alot of money to look this cheap!” Her honest answers and quick comebacks continue to keep her at the top of the list of women we love.
7. She released a new children’s album on October 13th, 2017. As usual with this fabulous woman, her lyrics send messages of hope, strength and love of oneself. Her song, ‘Makin’ Fun Ain’t Funny’ teaches children that bullying isn’t the right thing to do with “Don’t do this, makin’ someone else feel small to make yourself look big. If you can’t be big, don’t belittle someone else. That’s not the thing to do.” Her legacy in loving and supporting children is one to be admired.
It is no wonder that we, on Wildflowers Ranch, are true fans of this fabulous woman! We love you, Dolly!