Dolly Parton Is Honored by FBI For Lending Support to Victims Of The Great Smoky Mountain Wildfires

Dolly Parton and her foundation provided $10,000 to each of 900 families to help people from her hometown recover from the disaster
Singer Dolly Parton was honored by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for her efforts in providing financial help to those affected by wildfires in Gatlinburg, Tenn in 2016. FBI director Director Christopher Wray honored the singer with the 2018 Director's Community Leadership Award at a ceremony held at the FBI headquarters in Washington. The award was accepted by David Dotson, the CEO of the Dollywood Foundation, on her behalf. The FBI also honored 57 other recipients for their work, CNN reported.

The 73-year-old singer then posted a video addressed to the FBI, saying she considered it an honor to be recognized by the agency. “There’s no higher calling than your mission to protect and serve us,” she added. She also thanked fellow recipients of the award. “To my fellow recipients, thank you for all you do for our communities. Your work inspires all of us.” Dolly Parton’s theme park, Dollywood, in Pigeon Forge was spared the brunt of the fire but the country singer nevertheless was determined to help raise money to help her hometown get back on their feet.
Dolly Parton Is Honored by FBI For Lending Support to Victims Of The Great Smoky Mountain Wildfires

Dolly Parton and Miley Cyrus perform onstage at the 61st Annual GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on February 10, 2019, in Los Angeles, California.
"After the Gatlinburg wildfires, Sevier County native Dolly Parton decided to help her hometown neighbors who had lost everything," the FBI said on its website. "Parton and the Dollywood Foundation provided $10,000 to each of 900 families. The donations brought renewed hope to a community devastated by the worst natural disaster in Tennessee history." Dolly Parton raised money through her foundation to help Tennessee people affected by the wildfire that claimed over a dozen lives. Over 1000 structures were lost as part of the fire in Gatlinburg, according to the National Park Service.

“I've always thought of everyone in my family as my people. It's just the way we were raised - everybody is important and everybody takes care of each other. And it goes a lot farther than your kinfolk," Dolly Parton told CNN. “Your neighbors are your family 'cause they take care of you, too, and I've always thought of everybody in my mountains as part of my family.”

"I'm as proud of being part of this, helping my people, as anything I've ever done in my life. And our next step is to continue to look at what's ahead for everyone and our long-term recovery here," she added.
Dolly Parton Is Honored by FBI For Lending Support to Victims Of The Great Smoky Mountain Wildfires

She also announced that her foundation would be partnering with the Mountain Tough Recovery Organization, a group with leaders of Sevier County and the cities of Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and Sevierville that was formed to address long-term issues affecting residents such as housing, employment, and counseling. The country singer is also a philanthropist. She started an ‘Imagination Library’ in honor of her father in 1995. The charity sends pre-school aged children free books and has distributed over 85 million books in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia.