Dolly Parton has stepped up to help during the Coronavirus crisis. Not only is she donating $1 million dollars towards research, she’s going to read us all bedtime stories. Parton says she hopes the stories will provide comfort and reassurance to children during the shelter-in-place mandates.
Parton announced a $1 million donation to Vanderbilt Hospital in Tennessee on social media. She said, “My longtime friend, Dr. Naji Abumrad, who’s been involved in research for many years, informed me they were making some exciting advancements towards research of the Coronavirus for a cure. I am making a donation of $1 million to Vanderbilt towards that research and to encourage people that can afford it to make donations.”
Parton says she hopes, “This gift will further a love of books and shared storytime during this important period.”
The weekly series will features books from her Imagination Library including, “The Little Engine That Could.” The 90-year-old story of a tiny engine that won’t give up has inspired generations of children to “know I can.”
Parton’s Imagination Library, which offers a free book a month mailed to any child from birth to age five. The program started back in 1995 in Dolly’s birthplace of Sevier County, Tenessee. Ohio has recently allocated $5 million to bring the program to kids all across the state.
Parton says she hopes the books will encourage kids to dream big. “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.”