When it comes to confronting the ills and issues of the world, Dolly Parton never thinks small. While most of the country music world and the world as a whole spent considerable time handwringing worrying, the songwriting wonder reminded every heart that now is the time to create “When Life Is Good Again.” Now is the only moment any of us has, and Dolly Parton determines to make every second, and every cent count.
Just a tad over two years ago, Dolly Parton pulled out her checkbook and offered the brightest rays of hope to end the pandemic– 1 million of them to fund research that led to the Moderna vaccine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
Yet again, as confirmed by Yahoo News, CNN per MSN, People on MSN, and pretty much every news outlet on the planet, Dolly Parton keeps her giving close to home, and her beloved Vanderbilt. Once more, the focus of her generosity reaches the realms of global health. This time, however, the queen of “living by giving” solely aims her second $1 million gift at children, and eradicating infectious diseases that plague countless lives.
For Dolly Parton, it’s about much more than dollars
As her legions of faithful fans know Dolly Parton frequently recounts her growing years in the Smoky Mountains when “all we had was hope.” Hard work, family unity, and faith gave Dolly and her siblings the strength to survive having nothing in a material sense, but extreme spiritual fortitude.
“I love all children,” Dolly Parton proclaims adamantly in her comments regarding the gift to the VUMC. “No child should ever have to suffer,” the Country legend continues. For her, inspiration matters more than the dollar amount.
However, she wants the amount to be one that inspires others with the means to make the same kind of difference in the world. Just as every scrap sewn created the “Coat Of Many Colors” cherished in her classic ballad, Parton understands that her platform in being “willing to do my part” pulls heavyweights from the worlds of science and song to the cause.
In contrast to her original gift, the recent funding targets infectious diseases and their impact on children, such as recent cases of hepatitis C in children who have endured COVID. In gratitude, but without much fanfare, Vanderbilt University Medical Center assured us that the gift will “accelerate their work,” referring to the cutting-edge researchers in the field.
Another good turn for Dolly’s good doctor
Back in March of 2021, when Dolly Parton admonished the whole world “Don’t be a chicken squat,” urging public acceptance as she publicly took her own inoculation, no one missed the moment. Country Music Alley provided a full peek of Parton in her “cold shoulder” blue top.
The less famous face amid the camera flashes belongs to Dr. Naji Abumrad. Now a professor at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Dr. Abumrad and Dolly Parton met several years back when the “9 To 5” artist sought treatment after a minor car accident.
The two soon discovered more than a solid doctor-patient relationship. They forged a friendship in values of common decency and a compassionate worldview. Conversations between the friends figure prominently in the podcast series, Dolly Parton’s America.
Already, Dolly Parton’s deep connection and affection for Vanderbilt University Medical Center was clearly part of her philanthropic efforts. In the spring of 2018, Dolly Parton and her niece, Hannah Dennison, attended the dedication of the new named Hannah Dennison Butterfly Garden at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.
Of course, Hannah’s success story is just one of countless others following treatment at Vanderbilt. In fact, Dr. Jeff Balser, president and CEO of VUMC, expression of gratitude to Dolly Parton proposes that her latest gift “will bolster our defenses against future threats to the safety of this region and society as a whole.”
Likely, Dolly’s vision is broader. Her reach to “keep as many of them [children] as I can as healthy and safe as I can” applies to children everywhere, like the children taking nearly 2,000,000 books into their hands and homes through her Imagination Library.
Another David Muir moment for Dolly Parton
The lead anchor of ABC’s World News Tonight, David Muir, definitely plays favorites and pulls some of his professional clout when it comes to Dolly Parton. Again this week, the esteemed 48-year-old broadcast journalist reserved the closing feature of the evening news for Dolly Parton.
Not surprisingly, this honor last happened on Parton’s birthday in January. As it happens, David Muir is already on Dolly Parton’s birthday list, receiving his own special serenade.
Still, his signoff, a sincere “We love Dolly,” conveys a world of universal feeling. She is not striving to be a saint or the focus of sermons. She simply wants to demonstrate the power of one person’s heart to make the world better, and what better way than to make children better.
There are those with more millions than Dolly Parton. There is no one who matches the treasure of the heart. Check back with Country Music Alley to see where Dolly’s generosity takes her next!
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