KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — To celebrate Dolly Parton’s birthday, Dollywood officials announced the creation of the Care More Initiative as a way to honor her lifelong legacy of philanthropy and giving.
The program is giving every Dollywood Parks & Resorts employee a day off with pay to serve at the nonprofit of their choice. Park officials say the day of service is the start of an annual tradition that they hope will inspire people to follow Parton’s example and give back.
“Dolly is a dreamer and because of that she is an amazing person to work with,” said Eugene Naughton, Dollywood President. “It’s virtually impossible to describe her in one word, but I think if you asked people around the world, one of the most frequent answers you would hear is ‘giving.’ You would hear hundreds of different answers—talented, inspiring, loving, creative, caring—but I think giving is the one of which I think she would be most proud.”
“This initiative is our way to give back to her; it is our way to thank her for continuing to inspire people to think outside of themselves and to look for how they can be of service to others. We know our hosts are inspired by her every single day, but we hope others outside of our Dollywood family take the time to find how they can help in their own communities.”
Parton is known for many philanthropic efforts but Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is certainly the most well-known. Since launching in 1995, the Imagination Library has provided more than 180 million books around the world to registered children from birth to age five. The Dollywood Foundation is also an extension of Parton’s efforts. In 2016, the foundation assisted families who lost their homes during the devastating wildfires which swept through her home county.