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Dolly Parton's Smoky Mountains Rise: A Benefit for the My People Fund


About Tennessee Wildfires

On Nov. 28, devastating wildfires burned some 17,000 acres in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The fires also affected parts of Gatlinburg and Sevier County, TN. Sadly, 14 people lost their lives in these terrible fires, and over 100 confirmed injuries were reported. Over 14,000 people were evacuated during the fires which damaged or destroyed more than 1,700 structures (homes, businesses and churches). In Gatlinburg alone, officials estimate the wildfires caused more than $500 million in damage.

Smoky Mountains Rise: A Benefit for the My People Fund

Dolly Parton and a host of artists and celebrities took to the airwaves during Smoky Mountains Rise: A Benefit for the My People Fund.

They had one goal in mind, to raise funds for the victims of the Tennessee wildfires. The three-hour star-studded event was packed with beautiful performances, emotional stories and a collective message of hope.

Viewers pledged their support by calling, texting and going online to DollywoodFoundation.org.

The night's performances included songs by Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers, Hank Williams Jr., Chris Stapleton, Reba McEntire, Alison Krauss, Michael W. Smith, Chris Janson, Big & Rich, LOCASH, Chris Young, Montgomery Gentry, Jamey Johnson, Cyndi Lauper, Don McLean, Amy Grant, Alabama, Aaron Lewis and Rhonda Vincent.

The heroic efforts of the first responders were celebrated during the live telecast. Also, viewers were reminded of Sevier County's world-famous hospitality and renowned entertainment venues ready and waiting for them in East Tennessee. Dolly encouraged people to visit Sevier County and the Great Smoky Mountains.

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam and First Lady Crissy Haslam made a special appearance, and several celebrities greeted viewers in heartfelt video messages including Katy Perry, Carrie Underwood, Larry King, Steve Harvey, Good Morning America's Robin Roberts, Kiefer Sutherland, and Today Show's Willie Geist.

Dolly shared her hosting duties with friends HLN's Robin Meade, GAC's Suzanne Alexander and Nan Kelly, The Bobby Bones Show's Bobby Bones, SiriusXM's Storme Warren, Crook & Chase hosts Lorianne Crook and Charlie Chase, NASH Nights LIVE's Shaun Parr and Elaina D. Smith, and TuneIn Country Roads' Kelly Sutton.

Celebrities donating their time to answer phones included: Paula Deen and her sons Bobby and Jamie, Chrisley Knows Best cast members Todd, Julie and Savannah, Moonshiners' cast members Mark and Digger, Nashville's Charles Esten, cast members of Dolly Parton's Christmas of Many Colors, country hit-makers Chris & Morgane Stapleton, Terri Clark, Mark Wills, Lee Greenwood, Larry Gatlin, T.G. Sheppard, Highway 101's Paulette Carlson, John Conlee, Ronnie McDowell, Kristian Bush, Tim Rushlow, T. Graham Brown, Dolly's nieces Rebecca Seaver and Danielle Parton, bluegrass hitmakers Lorraine Jordan and Darrin Vincent, comedian Henry Cho, KC of KC and the Sunshine Band, hot new country artists Brett Young, Cassadee Pope, RaeLynn, Danielle Bradbury, Lucas Hoge, Denny Strickland, songwriter Becky Hobbs, and members of the Tennessee Titans.

Nearly $500,000 of donations were committed before the Smoky Mountains Rise telethon began. The ACM donated $100,000 to the fund, with Taylor Swift matching the amount, while the CMA donated $125,000 accompanied by a matching donation by East Tennessean Kenny Chesney. 

Star-Studded Telethon Helps Raise Nearly $9 Million, So Far

Millions watched the star-studded Smoky Mountains Rise: A Benefit for the My People Fund telethon and nearly $9 million has been raised, so far!

The telethon, broadcast on GAC, AXS-TV, RFD and The Heartland Network Tuesday, received huge donations from music stars like Taylor Swift, Kenny Chesney, Chris Stapleton, Chris Young, Paul Simon and Dierks Bentley but also from families across the country who just wanted to give the people of Dolly's home area a hand up in the tragic wildfires.

"I am overwhelmed by the generosity of the people who have donated from all over the country and to my friends who donated their time, talent and money for My People,"  Dolly Parton explained.

"The response has been so overwhelming that we haven't been able to count all of the donations yet; right now, in total, we have raised about $9 million dollars for the folks who lost everything in Sevier County."

The total amount raised is expected to rise as mail donations are counted and the telethon is rebroadcast to new audiences over the next five days.

Anyone who would like to make a tax-deductible contribution to the My People Fund may visit dollywoodfoundation.org.

For those wishing to send donations via mail, those contributions should be sent to:

My People Fund,
c/o Dollywood Foundation
111 Dollywood Lane,
Pigeon Forge, TN 37863

Donations are also being accepted by texting DOLLY to 501501 for a onetime $10 donation or DOLLY25 to 501501 for a onetime $25 donation.  Messaging and data rates will apply.

More than 1300 families have been displaced due to the wildfires which spread across Parton's home area of Sevier County, Tennessee in late November. Dolly established the My People Fund to provide $1000 each month for six months to every family who lost their primary residence.

Artists who donated their performances to the effort include: Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers, Hank Williams Jr., Chris Stapleton, Reba McEntire, Alison Krauss, Michael W. Smith, Chris Janson, Big & Rich, LOCASH, Chris Young, Montgomery Gentry, Jamey Johnson, Cyndi Lauper, Don McLean, Amy Grant, Alabama, Aaron Lewis and Rhonda Vincent.

Dolly hosted the overall telethon with friends HLN's Robin Meade, GAC's Suzanne Alexander and Nan Kelly, The Bobby Bones Show's Bobby Bones, SiriusXM's Storme Warren, Crook & Chase hosts Lorriane Crook and Charlie Chase, Nash Night LIVE's Shaun Parr and Elaina D. Smith, and TuneIn Country Roads' Kelly Sutton will share hosting duties throughout the three-hour broadcast.

Celebrities also donated their time to answer phones including: Paula Deen and her sons Bobby and Jamie, Chrisley Knows Best cast members Todd, Julie and Savannah, Moonshiners' cast members Mark and Digger, Nashville's Charles Esten, cast members of Dolly Parton's Christmas of Many Colors, country hit-makers Chris & Morgane Stapleton, Mark Wills, Lee Greenwood, Larry and Rudy Gatlin, TG Sheppard, John Conlee, Ronnie McDowell, Kristian Bush, Tim Rushlow, T. Graham Brown, Dolly's nieces Rebecca Seaver and Danielle Parton, bluegrass hit makers Lorraine Jordan and Darrin Vincent, comedian Henry Cho, KC of KC & The Sunshine Band, hot new country artists Brett Young, Cassadee Pope, RaeLynn, Danielle Bradbury, Lucas Hoge, Denny Strickland, songwriter Becky Hobbs, Jason Crabb and members of the Tennessee Titans.

Several other celebrities shared special video messages during the telethon including: Katy Perry, Carrie Underwood, Larry King, Steve Harvey, Good Morning America's Robin Roberts, Kiefer Sutherland, and Today Show's Willie Geist.

The My People Fund will provide $1000 each month to Sevier County families whose homes are uninhabitable or were completely destroyed in the recent Smoky Mountain wildfires. Any family who lost their primary residence (renters and homeowners) due to the wildfires in Sevier County will be eligible. A pre-application for those affected is available at DollywoodFoundation.org.

A Special Message From Dollywood
Days after Dolly announced the creation of the My People Fund, the program already has raised millions for Sevier County families whose homes are uninhabitable or were destroyed in the recent Smoky Mountain wildfires. As the recovery begins, the need, however, is much greater..

Dolly has pledged to provide $1000 each month for six months to give these families the assistance they need to get back on their feet. You can help by donating at dollywoodfoundation.org.
My People Fund

The Dollywood Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and 100% of your donation will go directly to the families affected by the wildfires.

A tax deductible donation can be mailed to:

The Dollywood Foundation
My People Fund
111 Dollywood Lane
Pigeon Forge, TN 37863

Please include "My People Fund" on the memo line and include a return address for a tax receipt.

About My People Fund

The My People Fund provides $1000 each month for up to six months to Sevier County families who lost their homes in the wildfires. Anyone can donate to the My People Fund online or by mail. 100% of your donation will go directly to the families affected by the wildfires.
More Ways To Help

In addition to donating to My People Fund, there are more ways you can help the people affected.
To inquire about donating items or to receive donated items, please call 1-866-586-4483 or 865-430-7384.

WBIR has compiled a complete list of organizations and businesses that are offering assistance to those affected by these wildfires.

Help raise awareness by sharing My People Fund across your social media network using #MyPeopleFund #SomePlaceSpecial. Also, plan a visit to the Great Smoky Mountains. While our residents and business owners are rebuilding there is still a lot to see and do throughout the area.


Sponsors:

Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede
Dolly Parton's Lumberjack Adventure
Pirates Voyage
The Dollywood Company
The Dollywood Foundation
A very special thanks to the following supporting partners:

Blalock Companies
CoreCivic
Miley Cyrus' Happy Hippie Foundation
Tanger Outlets
Verizon


My People Fund: FAQS
Applicants:

When can I apply for assistance?
The CARE MORE Assistance Center located at LeConte Center (2986 Teaster Lane, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863).

When will I receive my check?
Applications will be processed on site and you will receive it the day of your visit.

Will you have an interpreter at the CARE MORE Assistance Center?
We will have a Spanish/English interpreter available.

What do I need to bring with me to the CARE MORE Assistance Center?
All you will need to bring is a photo ID and proof of residence such as a utility or phone bill. (If your photo ID includes your home address nothing further is required)

Does my whole family need to come to the CARE MORE Assistance Center?
No, only the primary contact person of the residence is required.

How will I get updates on this process over the 6 month period?
We will send email newsletters, post to social media and if needed, call via phone. We will also message updates through TV, newspaper and radio.

If I move over the 6 month period, how can I keep my address up to date?

Please email any updates to mypeoplefund@dollyfoundation.org or call 865-428-9606.

Can you also update my child's Imagination Library address so we keep receiving books?
Yes, as part of the application process, we can enroll or update children's addresses in our system.

Do I need to be the homeowner or property owner to receive a check?
You are not required to be the homeowner, but you must have been actively renting and living in the property as a resident at the time of the fire.

Can I get assistance if my rental cabin was a total loss?
No, only families who rented or resided in a home will be eligible to receive assistance.

What number can I call with questions?
You can call the Dollywood call center at 1-800-Dollywood or locally at 865-428-9488.

I do not have a checking account, how can I cash my assistance check?
The Dollywood Foundation worked with our banking partner, Citizens National Bank, to allow any recipient of My People Fund checks to cash them with only a photo ID at any Sevier County branch.
Click here to find a branch near you.
Donors:

How much of my donation goes to the families?
100% of your donation will go directly to the families who lost their home in the wildfires.

I would like to make a large donation, is there a special process for this?
Yes, for any donation over $10,000, please call 865-428-9608 or email us at mypeoplefund@dollywoodfoundation.org

Is my donation tax deductible?
Yes, All donations are made to The Dollywood Foundation which is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization (EIN 62-1348105).

MYPEOPLEFUND@DOLLYWOODFOUNDATION.ORG
CALL US NOW865-428-9488 .

Thanks For The Music Dolly!


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