My People Fund Serves Nearly 900 Families

Published December 22, 2016 / Last Updated January 5, 2017
Team Dolly

Team Dolly

Team Dolly is a collaboration of writers, editors, and publishers assembled by Dolly Parton Productions. Each member is dedicated to accurately publishing the latest news and historical archives of the living legend that is Dolly Rebecca Parton.

Managing Editor - Jacob Timmons
Senior Editor - Amanda Webb
Creative Director - Sarah Chapman
Team Dolly

The Dollywood Foundation’s My People Fund served nearly 900 families in the first distribution as donation totals climb to $9.3 million including $250,000 from Food City.

In a little more than two weeks after the wildfires that spread across Dolly Parton’s home area of Sevier County, TN, Dolly and the Dollywood Foundation launched the distribution of assistance from the My People Fund. During the four-day check distribution, 884 families received their initial support payments. Dolly said,

“It’s a blessing during this holiday season that we are able to help as many families as we have so far. We know there are more families out there who need our help and we encourage them to be in contact with us before our January distribution.”

The next distribution is set for January 26 and 27, 2017, at the LeConte Events Center in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

  • Thursday, Jan. 26: Last name A – L
  • Friday, Jan. 27: Last name M – Z

Food City Donation

Thanks to the generosity of Food City, their customers, associates and more, the company presented checks to the Dollywood Foundation’s My People Fund and the Gatlinburg Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Gatlinburg Relief Fund totaling $750,000. Steven C. Smith, Food City President/CEO said,

“Our company has been privileged to operate in the Sevier County/Gatlinburg area for more than thirty years and we certainly want to do everything possible to help our friends and neighbors recover from this devastating disaster.”

Food City designated $500,000 to benefit the Gatlinburg Relief Fund, while the remaining $250,000 was directed to the My People Fund.

About My People Fund

The Dollywood Foundation’s My People Fund provides $1000 each month to Sevier County families whose homes are uninhabitable or were completely destroyed in the recent Smoky Mountain wildfires. Any family who lost their primary residence (renters and homeowners) due to the wildfires in Sevier County are eligible. A pre-application for those affected is available at DollywoodFoundation.org.

Millions of people watched Smoky Mountains Rise: A Benefit for the My People Fund telethon on Tuesday, December 13 on GAC, AXS-TV, RFD and The Heartland Network and during several rebroadcasts throughout the last weekend. As a result, donations continued to roll in and thanks to generous people from coast to coast and Dolly’s friends, the total amount raised has climbed to $9.3 million. David Dotson, Dollywood Foundation President commented saying,

“As, Dolly said, the response has been overwhelming. We will distribute all $9.3 million to the families affected. That will insure all of the money raised will go to where Dolly promised it would.”

Team DollyMy People Fund Serves Nearly 900 Families

Dollywood Foundation Distributes My People Fund Checks

Published December 19, 2016 / Last Updated January 5, 2017
Team Dolly

Team Dolly

Team Dolly is a collaboration of writers, editors, and publishers assembled by Dolly Parton Productions. Each member is dedicated to accurately publishing the latest news and historical archives of the living legend that is Dolly Rebecca Parton.

Managing Editor - Jacob Timmons
Senior Editor - Amanda Webb
Creative Director - Sarah Chapman
Team Dolly

Sevier County residents who lost their homes in the wildfires received $1000 checks from the My People Fund.

One by one, people who lost everything in the Tennessee wildfires are getting a “hand up” in the form of $1000 checks from the Dollywood Foundation’s My People Fund. The Foundation began distributing hundreds of checks on Thursday, Dec. 15. Over the next four business days, the process will continue for those who qualify.

The Foundation staff and volunteers are moved by the touching stories of the people visiting the CARE MORE Assistance Center. Many of those who came in for assistance wanted to share their stories

 
 
 
 

To date, nearly $9 million has been raised for the My People Fund and the need is still great. According to the Foundation, the number of people needing help is still unknown.

Inside the LeConte Events Center checks are given out in what is called the CARE MORE Assistance Center. In addition to My People Fund checks, Dollar General is on hand giving out toys and gift cards. Tanger Outlets has also generously donated gift cards as well.

About My People Fund

On Dec. 1, Dolly Parton announced a new effort by The Dollywood Foundation, The Dollywood Company and all her dinner show attractions including Dixie Stampede, Lumberjack Adventure and Pirates Voyage to establish a fund to assist the victims of the Great Smoky Mountain wildfires in Tennessee. The My People Fund will provide $1000 each month for up to six months to Sevier County families who lost their homes.

To learn more about My People Fund, get assistance or to make a donation, visit DollywoodFoundation.org.

Team DollyDollywood Foundation Distributes My People Fund Checks

Smoky Mountains Rise: A Benefit for the My People Fund

Published December 14, 2016 / Last Updated January 5, 2017
Team Dolly

Team Dolly

Team Dolly is a collaboration of writers, editors, and publishers assembled by Dolly Parton Productions. Each member is dedicated to accurately publishing the latest news and historical archives of the living legend that is Dolly Rebecca Parton.

Managing Editor - Jacob Timmons
Senior Editor - Amanda Webb
Creative Director - Sarah Chapman
Team Dolly

Dolly Parton and a host of artists and celebrities took to the airwaves on Tuesday night during Smoky Mountains Rise: A Benefit for the My People Fund.

They had one goal in mind, to raise funds for the victims of the Tennessee wildfires. The three-hour star-studded event was packed with beautiful performances, emotional stories and a collective message of hope.

Viewers pledged their support by calling, texting and going online to DollywoodFoundation.org.

The night’s performances included songs by Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers, Hank Williams Jr., Chris Stapleton, Reba McEntire, Alison Krauss, Michael W. Smith, Chris Janson, Big & Rich, LOCASH, Chris Young, Montgomery Gentry, Jamey Johnson, Cyndi Lauper, Don McLean, Amy Grant, Alabama, Aaron Lewis and Rhonda Vincent.

The heroic efforts of the first responders were celebrated during the live telecast. Also, viewers were reminded of Sevier County’s world-famous hospitality and renowned entertainment venues ready and waiting for them in East Tennessee. Dolly encouraged people to visit Sevier County and the Great Smoky Mountains.

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam and First Lady Crissy Haslam made a special appearance, and several celebrities greeted viewers in heartfelt video messages including Katy Perry, Carrie Underwood, Larry King, Steve Harvey, Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts, Kiefer Sutherland, and Today Show’s Willie Geist.

Dolly shared her hosting duties with friends HLN’s Robin Meade, GAC’s Suzanne Alexander and Nan Kelly, The Bobby Bones Show’s Bobby Bones, SiriusXM’s Storme Warren, Crook & Chase hosts Lorianne Crook and Charlie Chase, NASH Nights LIVE’s Shaun Parr and Elaina D. Smith, and TuneIn Country Roads’ Kelly Sutton.

Celebrities donating their time to answer phones included: Paula Deen and her sons Bobby and Jamie, Chrisley Knows Best cast members Todd, Julie and Savannah, Moonshiners’ cast members Mark and Digger, Nashville’s Charles Esten, cast members of Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors, country hit-makers Chris & Morgane Stapleton, Terri Clark, Mark Wills, Lee Greenwood, Larry Gatlin, T.G. Sheppard, Highway 101’s Paulette Carlson, John Conlee, Ronnie McDowell, Kristian Bush, Tim Rushlow, T. Graham Brown, Dolly’s nieces Rebecca Seaver and Danielle Parton, bluegrass hitmakers Lorraine Jordan and Darrin Vincent, comedian Henry Cho, KC of KC and the Sunshine Band, hot new country artists Brett Young, Cassadee Pope, RaeLynn, Danielle Bradbury, Lucas Hoge, Denny Strickland, songwriter Becky Hobbs, and members of the Tennessee Titans.

Nearly $500,000 of donations were committed before the Smoky Mountains Rise telethon began. The ACM donated $100,000 to the fund, with Taylor Swift matching the amount, while the CMA donated $125,000 accompanied by a matching donation by East Tennessean Kenny Chesney.

About My People Fund

More than 1300 families have been displaced due to the wildfires which spread across Dolly’s home area of Sevier County, Tennessee in late November. The entertainment icon established the Dollywood Foundation My People Fund to provide $1000 each month for six months to every family who lost their primary residence. Currently, the monthly pledge is in excess of $1.3 million each month.

Donate Online At DollywoodFoundation.org

About Tennessee Wildfires

On Nov. 28, devastating wildfires burned some 17,000 acres in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The fires also affected parts of Gatlinburg and Sevier County, TN. Sadly, 14 people lost their lives in these terrible fires, and over 100 confirmed injuries were reported. Over 14,000 people were evacuated during the fires which damaged or destroyed more than 1,700 structures (homes, businesses and churches). In Gatlinburg alone, officials estimate the wildfires caused more than $500 million in damage.

Team DollySmoky Mountains Rise: A Benefit for the My People Fund

My People Fund To Distribute Wildfire Assistance Checks

Published December 12, 2016 / Last Updated December 12, 2016
Team Dolly

Team Dolly

Team Dolly is a collaboration of writers, editors, and publishers assembled by Dolly Parton Productions. Each member is dedicated to accurately publishing the latest news and historical archives of the living legend that is Dolly Rebecca Parton.

Managing Editor - Jacob Timmons
Senior Editor - Amanda Webb
Creative Director - Sarah Chapman
Team Dolly

My People Fund assistance checks will be distributed to wildfire survivors beginning Dec. 15.

The Dollywood Foundation will begin distributing checks to those affected by the Great Smoky Mountain wildfires on Dec. 15, at 10 a.m. at the CARE MORE Assistance Center inside the LeConte Event Center.

More than 900 people have applied for funds, with more expected to complete the application. For efficiency, The Dollywood Foundation encourages only the head of household to report on the day that correlates with their last name. The head of household should be prepared with photo I.D. The Dollywood Foundation emphasizes that funds will not run out. This is the first of six distribution periods.

DATES:
Thursday, Dec. 15 — Last name A – F
Friday, Dec. 16 — Last name G – L
Monday, Dec. 19 — Last name M – R
Tuesday, Dec. 20 — Last name S – Z

HOURS:
10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

LOCATION:
CARE MORE Assistance Center inside the LeConte Event Center
2986 Teaster Ln., Pigeon Forge, TN 37863

About My People Fund

The Dollywood Foundation’s My People Fund was established to assist those families (owners or renters) who lost their primary residence in the wildfires (complete loss or uninhabitable). Eligible families receive $1000 a month for up to six months.

Applicants are urged to pre-apply by visiting Dollywood Foundation online. County officials are using the U.S. Geological Survey of the damage and cross-referencing with official documents to ensure the families who lost everything receive these funds.

Team DollyMy People Fund To Distribute Wildfire Assistance Checks

Dolly Parton Telethon To Benefit Tennessee Wildfire Survivors

Published December 8, 2016 / Last Updated January 5, 2017
Team Dolly

Team Dolly

Team Dolly is a collaboration of writers, editors, and publishers assembled by Dolly Parton Productions. Each member is dedicated to accurately publishing the latest news and historical archives of the living legend that is Dolly Rebecca Parton.

Managing Editor - Jacob Timmons
Senior Editor - Amanda Webb
Creative Director - Sarah Chapman
Team Dolly

Dolly Parton and more will perform during the Dec. 13 Smoky Mountains Rise Telethon.

Update December 11, 2016: The impressive lineup of performers continues to grow for Smoky Mountains Rise: A Benefit for the My People Fund on Tuesday, Dec. 13 at 8 p.m. (EST). Hank Williams Jr., Cyndi Lauper, Alabama, Don McLean, Ronnie Dunn, Jamey Johnson and Lauren Alaina have been added to the star-studded telecast, which will be broadcast on GAC, AXS-TV, RFD and The Heartland Network.

A number of celebrities will answer phones during the telethon. Paula Deen and her sons Bobby and Jamie, RaeLynn, Dailey & Vincent, Moonshiners’ Mark & Digger, T.G. Sheppard, Jason Crabb, Larry Gatlin, comedian Henry Cho, Tim Rushlow and more will help man the phone lines during the telethon. All of the celebrities are donating their time and performances to help the effort.

Smoky Mountains Rise Viewing Opportunities

All artists are donating their performances to help the effort. Dolly said,

“I’m truly honored that these artists are giving their time and energy to help us raise money for everyone affected by the wildfires. I’ve got so many great friends in the industry, and I’m so proud that they were so ready to step up and help me help my people in the Smoky Mountains through this telethon and the My People Fund.”

DOLLY PARTON
REBA
KENNY ROGERS
CHRIS STAPLETON
CHRIS YOUNG
BIG AND RICH
CHRIS JANSON
LOCASH

Update Dec. 9, 2016: Several famous names have been added to the growing list of celebrities set to perform during Smoky Mountains Rise: A Benefit for the My People Fund on Tuesday, Dec. 13 at 8 p.m. (EST). Chris Stapleton, Chris Young, Big & Rich, Michael W. Smith, Amy Grant, LOCASH, Chris Janson and Montgomery Gentry are just a few of the new names added to perform during the event, which also has added three new broadcast partners.

Dolly Parton and a number of her friends, including Reba McEntire, Kenny Rogers and Alison Krauss, are set to perform during Smoky Mountains Rise: A Benefit for the My People Fund on Tuesday, Dec. 13 at 8 p.m. (EST) on Great American Country (GAC). All proceeds (100%) from the telethon will benefit those displaced by the recent Smoky Mountain wildfires. Dolly said,

“My home in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee is some place special. Wildfires have affected many of the people—my people—who live in those beautiful mountains. We want to provide a hand up to those families who have lost everything in the fires. I know it has been a trying time for my people and this assistance will help get them back on their feet.”

All money raised by the telethon will be distributed to families in need through the Dollywood Foundation’s My People Fund. This fund will provide $1000 each month for up to six months to Sevier County residents whose homes are uninhabitable or were completely destroyed in the recent Smoky Mountain wildfires. The fund raised more than $1 million in its first 36 hours, but the need is much greater. During the telethon, viewers will be asked to call 1-866-CARE MORE or 800-942-9026 to donate to the My People Fund.

Smoky Mountains Rise also will be simulcast across multiple radio chains, including iHeart Media’s digital and select on-air platforms, Cumulus Media’s NASH Nights LIVE, TuneIn’s Country Roads channel, and several other platforms which are set to be announced shortly. Other celebrities joining Smoky Mountains Rise will be announced in the coming days.

Anyone who would like to make a tax-deductible contribution to the My People Fund may visit DollywoodFoundation.org. For those wishing to send donations via mail, those contributions should be sent to:

My People Fund
c/o Dollywood Foundation
111 Dollywood Lane
Pigeon Forge, TN 37863

About My People Fund

Any family who lost their primary residence (renters and homeowners) due to the wildfires in Sevier County are eligible to receive assistance from the My People Fund. A pre-application for those affected is available at DollywoodFoundation.org. Completion of the pre-application is not required but is encouraged to expedite the distribution process.

The first funds will be distributed Dec. 15-16 and Dec. 19-20 from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. at the CARE MORE Assistance Center at the LeConte Events Center in Pigeon Forge, TN. One check per household per month will be issued. All recipients must show a photo I.D. Families can receive aid for up to six months. Anyone needing assistance in the application process should call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD.

Team DollyDolly Parton Telethon To Benefit Tennessee Wildfire Survivors