Dolly Parton has secretly been funding high school bands for years and never wanted recognition

A journalist revealed that she’s been footing the bill for instruments, equipment, uniforms, and other expenses for several black high school bands for years. ❤️

If you haven’t heard about Dolly Parton and her numerous philanthropic endeavors, you’ve either had your head in the sand or haven’t heard about Dolly Parton.

In addition to her name being synonymous with country music, she’s also known for her big giving heart.

And she often gives without making a public fuss over it. But one journalist recently uncovered some of her secrets.

Journalist and writer Michael Harriot revealed that she’s been footing the bill for instruments, equipment, uniforms, and other expenses for several black high school bands for years.

“Here’s a quietly wonderful thing I noticed: If you talk to someone who was in choir or band at a majority Black HS, you’ll eventually discuss those annoying fundraisers for uniforms, instruments, etc. & a SURPRISING number will casually say: ‘Oh, Dolly Parton paid for ours,’” he tweeted.

Students in the thread confirmed this.

One student said that they were in high school in the high school marching band in East Tennessee 3o years ago and they played in a marching band that Parton hooked up.

“One year we played Sevier County High School…and DANG that band was equipped — uniforms, instruments, flags, everything. Mountain area, much poverty. Paid for by Dolly Parton. That woman is a national treasure,” the person wrote.

Another person talked about how she paid for students at Pigeon Forge Middle School to have their own lockers when two or more students were each sharing a locker.

One person even said that he knows a fellow who was a funeral director that said Parton used to regularly pay for funerals of people who couldn’t otherwise afford them.

Upworthy reports that Parton has donated a lot to schools in her hometown of Sevier County. Her Buddy Contract program was started in 1988 and give $1,000 to every student in 7th and 8th grade who pairs up and graduates.

The condition of the program is that they don’t drop out of school and they help each other with issues that might make them drop out.

If the student encounter problems they can’t handle, they are asked to write Parton herself.

PinkNews reports that Parton also pays the full tuition fees, costs of books, and any other fees for all of her Dollywood employees who go to college.

Her Imagination Library donates books to children free of charge from birth to the age of 5.

That program has been running for about 27 years.

When devastating fires hit Gatlinburg, TN, Parton stepped up to donate more than $12.5 million to families in need that were affected by the fire

She gave $1,000 per month to 900 families for about six months. Her foundation boosted that to $5,000 during the last month.

She also donated $1 million to Vanderbilt University Medical who was working with Modern to develop the first COVID-19 vaccine.

“’Aunt Dolly’ is celebrated in our home. She emailed my daughter on her birthday last weekend. So much of Nashville/TN has her explicit and implicit stamp on it. Dolly, like Wu-Tang, is for the children,” wrote one commenter on Harriot’s thread.

She was honored with the 2022 Friend of Education Award from the National Education Association for her Imagination Library project and dedication to early childhood literacy.

Learn more about her award in the video below.


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