Between rebuilding Tennessee and making my Spotify playlists so damn good, Dolly Parton has become the unofficial Queen of Good Works.
Today, the country music star heads to Washington to deliver her 100 millionth book donation from her Imagination Library to the Library of Congress. Founded by Parton, the Imagination Library sends free books to children from birth until their start of school, regardless of their parents’ income.
Parton started the program in 1995. Less than 10 years later, Parton had donated a million books. After the singer launched operations in Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom, donations started running into the tens of millions.
Parton says her father’s illiteracy initially inspired her to take action.
The singer, whose fan base is a mix of Republicans and Democrats, has studiously avoided politics. Parton has nonetheless gained notoriety for her extensive philanthropic efforts.
After fires destroyed homes in Tennessee in 2016, Dolly Parton’s My People foundation gave more than $8 million to people affected. Survivors received an average of $10,000 from the charity Participants reported feeling grateful to receive money from the foundation without any stigma or strings attached.
Video of the Library of Congress ceremony will be available here and imprinted in my heart.