Dolly Parton is a saint and we will fight anyone who says different.
Inspired by her father’s inability to read and write, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a book gifting program that mails free books to children, and this week Dolly Parton donated the 100 millionth book from the program to the Library of Congress.
“My daddy couldn’t read and write and that always troubled him and bothered him so I wanted to do something special for him,” Parton told “Good Morning America”. “So I got the idea to start this program and let my dad help me with it and he got to live long enough to hear the kids call me the ‘book lady.’”
Started in 1995 for the children within her home county of Sevier in Tennessee, it has now expanded to the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia.
“It makes me feel proud of who I am, where I’m from and the fact that I am in a position to help people and especially the kids,” Parton said of the milestone for her nonprofit, Imagination Library. “It’s so important to me because if you can teach children to read they can dream and if you dream you can be successful.”
“When I was growing up in the hills of East Tennessee, I knew my dreams would come true. I know there are children in your community with their own dreams. They dream of becoming a doctor or an inventor or a minister. Who knows, maybe there is a little girl whose dream is to be a writer and singer. The seeds of these dreams are often found in books and the seeds you help plant in your community can grow across the world.”
And remember the horrible wildfires in portions of Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg in 2016, well Dolly Parton started her My People Fund and promised each family that lost its primary residence in the fires $1,000 a month for five months. Then when it was time to pay the families their final payment, she decided to give the 900 families an extra $5,000 each because she is a saint.