Hitmaker Dolly Parton has long been known as a treasured philanthropist. Then, Wednesday morning, she revealed that she’s donating $1 million, around £805,315 to Vanderbilt University in her adopted hometown of Nashville.
I am making a donation of $1 million to Vanderbilt towards that research and to encourage people that can afford it to make donations.— Dolly Parton (@DollyParton) April 1, 2020
She cited her “longtime friend” Dr. Naji Abumrad, who’s making what she called “exciting advancements towards research of the coronavirus for a cure.” Parton encouraged others to follow her lead, if they can afford it.
My longtime friend Dr. Naji Abumrad, who’s been involved in research at Vanderbilt for many years, informed me that they were making some exciting advancements towards research of the coronavirus for a cure.— Dolly Parton (@DollyParton) April 1, 2020
If that name sounds familiar to some, it’s probably because Abumrad happens to be the father of Jad Abumrad, who hosts the addictive, inspiring podcast all about Parton, Dolly Parton’s America.
Fans of the 9 to 5 singer applauded her contribution — some of them with extremely clever comments.
I'd like to see Jolene do that.— Chris Woodward (@afncwoodward) April 1, 2020
On behalf of my nursing assistant partner who is likely to be on the coronavirus ward soon, bless you, thank you.— Kitty Chandler (@mightybattlecat) April 1, 2020
"Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine vacciiiiiiiiiiine." -- @DollyParton— conor rogers 🏳️🌈 (@conorjrogers) April 1, 2020
In addition to her cash contribution, Parton is bestowing another significant gift during the coronavirus quarantine, with her voice, through a free program called “Goodnight With Dolly,” in which she reads children’s books on Thursdays at 7 p.m. ET.
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It’s part of her Imagination Library project, which provides free books to young children, regardless of their family’s income.
The first book up is The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper. She’ll read nine other books, including her own I Am a Rainbow and Coat of Many Colors, over 10 weeks.
“Dolly hopes this series of stories will provide comfort and reassurance to coping kids and families during the shelter-in-place mandates,” the Imagination Library said in a statement.
You can always crank up a Dolly Parton album, too.