Fires ravaged eastern Tennessee last month, killing 14 people and destroying the homes of some 2,400 more.
Enter Dolly Parton to the rescue.
Parton organized a benefit telethon called Smoky Mountains Rise, which so far has raised more than $9 million for her new My People Fund. The fund will donate $1,000 a month to each family that lost a home in the fires.
In regards to the charity, Parton issued this statement:
I am overwhelmed by the generosity of the people who have donated from all over the country and to my friends who donated their time, their talent, and money for My People. The response has been so overwhelming that we haven’t been able to count all of the donations yet; right now, in total, we have raised about $9 million for the folks who lost everything in Sevier County.
The telethon occurred in Nashville on Tuesday night and featured performers like Hank Williams Jr., Cyndi Lauper and Kenny Rogers. The Country Music Association, Taylor Swift and Paul Simon were among the donors, each contributing $100,000.
Per USA Today, Parton’s telethon is set to be broadcast multiple times in the coming days, so the amount raised will only continue to grow.
You can give to the My People Fund here, read our recent feature on Parton here, and below, listen to her perform the classic “Jolene” (and others) circa 1977 via the Paste Cloud.