Star/Famous Person Doing Good

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Sep 1, 2003
Richmond Texas USA
I was not aware of all that Dolly has done to help the needy. A shame that those that could help don't.

Country singer Dolly Parton wrote the songs "I Will Always Love You" and "Jolene" on the same night.
When the first song was at the top of the charts in 1974, Elvis wanted to record his own version of the song. Dolly was interested until Colonel Tom Parker, Elvis' manager, said that it was standard procedure that when the king of rock and roll covered a song - half of the rights to that song would go to him in the future. She refused it.
"I said, 'I'm really, really sorry' and cried all night. It was terrible for me, on the one hand, it's Elvis. People told me: "You are crazy." It's Elvis Presley...' but I just couldn't do it. Something told me in my heart not to do it and I didn't. I know he would rock with that song. But I couldn't. And then Whitney Houston came along with her version and I made enough money from the rights to buy Dollywood."
She grew up in severe poverty and no one famous has done more for the education of the poor than her.
In 1990, the percentage of students who did not graduate from high school in her hometown was over 30%. She introduced the "Buddy Program", where all high school graduates received a nice sum when they graduated. It wasn't just a waste of money, she personally came and explained the concept to them - everyone should find a buddy, and whoever doesn't succeed she will find one for them.
Everyone had to sign that they will graduate and do everything in their power to ensure that their buddy also graduates. She taught young people about friendship and helping. The number of school dropouts dropped to below 6% and has remained so until today.
When 900 families lost their homes in the 2016 fires, she paid each family $1,000 for the next five months. When she came to the bank to finish the paperwork, she gave each family another $5,000 to find. A total of nine million dollars.
Also, her work - Imagination Library from 1995, was inspired by her realization that young people in rural areas and poor families already fall behind when they start school and that this prevents them from pursuing higher education. The goal of her program was for every child in her district to receive one book, once a month, from birth to school, completely free of charge, without any conditions.
It started as an initiative in her hometown and has spread to a huge number of countries around the world. By 2018, over 100 million books were distributed in this way.
She is also known for her witty statements, at the beginning of her career she said-"I'm not offended by jokes about stupid blondes because I know I'm not stupid... and I'm not really blonde either."


Ruger Guru
Sep 18, 2002
Lake Lure NC USA
To many of us who grew up on country music,, and knowing how Dolly sang, we always enjoyed her music. Yet,, as she grew into the star she has become,, she has always been the type of lady who never forgot her roots or where she was from.

Always heard nothing but good about her. For decades.


Jul 29, 2023
Gettysburg PA Area
My oldest Daughter lives in Knoxville and has season passes to Dollywood. They take my Grandson there at least twice a month. They absolutely love it, sort of like how folks love Disney.

I covered a lot of Appalachia (TN/KY/WVA/VA) as a Retail Loss Prevention/Investigator and saw a ton of severely impoverished areas. Some of which it seemed time forgot about them. I often heard interviews or read articles about Dolly Parton where she mentioned some of those areas.

Believe it or not, Steve Harvey was from one of those areas, not the worst I had ever seen but certainly not the greatest. He also helped with financial needs of some in that area I have heard. I was surprised to learn he was from those parts.

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