Death, taxes and Dolly Parton giving generously to meet the needs of a tired and fearful nation — those are life’s big certainties. The American icon has long been at the forefront of crises both urgent and more existential, donating a vast sum of money to families displaced by the Tennessee wildfires and giving away over 100 million books to children in need (read that again, slowly: one hundred million books). And now, the world is calling on her generosity once more and Dolly did not fail to heed the call. She is donating a million dollars to the medical experts at Vanderbilt University, who are on the hunt for a novel coronavirus cure.
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
In a tweet announcing the donation, Parton referenced her longtime friend Dr. Naji Abumrad. Abumrad’s son, Jad, works for NPR and produced the excellent podcast Dolly Parton’s America, which explored Parton’s legacy and the recent rebirth of her living-legendy status. Earlier this year, Jad Abumrad spoke to the RELEVANT Podcast about his father’s friendship with Dolly and her experience with religion.
That’s not all. Parton’s also been doing her part to give homebound parents a break, reading children’s books live on her YouTube channel once a week.