Dolly Parton’s Charity Just Got a Huge Donation

The country star was just gifted a whopping amount of money to donate to charities of her choice—by none other than Jeff Bezos.

Talk about a well-deserved windfall!

In early November, Jeff Bezos announced that Dolly Parton was the latest winner of his third Courage and Civility Award. The grand prize? A whopping $100 million dollar donation that the recipient can use to invest in the charities of their choice.

What is the Courage and Civility Award?

The Courage and Civility Award goes to those “who aim high, find solutions and always do it with civility.” Bezos says Parton was the obvious choice to win this year’s award. The country singer has become known as one of the most charitable celebrities in history.

In 2020, Jeff Bezos announced he was stepping down as CEO of Amazon to focus on philanthropy, and so far he’s certainly put his megabucks where his mouth is. His two former Courage and Civility Award recipients include chef Jose Andres, who fights worldwide hunger after humanitarian crises, and Van Jones, who works toward criminal justice reform.

What is Dolly Parton’s charity?

Parton’s charity is the Dollywood Foundation back in her hometown of Sevierville, Tennessee. She founded it back in 1988, with the intent of helping children in the region with their education. It’s best known now for the Imagination Library, a program that provides books to underprivileged children around the world free of charge from birth up until they start school. The organization recently gifted 190 million books to kids in need.

What else has Dolly Parton’s charity donated to?

Some of the other things the Dollywood Foundation has supported include funding a new hospital and providing college scholarships to local high schoolers each year. During the COVID pandemic, she donated $1 million for vaccine research to the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and she regularly donates to children’s hospitals in the United States. It’s definitely one of the best charities around.

“She gives with her heart,” Bezos said during the award ceremony. “What she’s done for kids and literacy, and so many other things, is just incredible.”

After receiving the award, Parton said the same about Bezos. “When people are in the position to help, you should help,” she said of the Amazon founder, noting that he also “gives from the heart.”

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Gillian Telling
Gillian Telling is a New York-based entertainment journalist who, for the past 15 years, has covered the entire spectrum of pop culture as a writer and editor for publications like Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, and People. She's interviewed hundreds of celebrities throughout her career, ranging from Alex Trebek to Jennifer Lawrence, and prides herself on being the first person to ever declare that Schitt's Creek was an amazing new show. (Five years before everyone else caught on!) She's also a published author, whose 2010 humor book Dirty Girls was optioned by ABC in 2012.