After wildfires tore through Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, two small mountain resort towns in East Tennessee, recently, Pigeon Forge native Dolly Parton established the My People Fund. The fund provides $1,000 a month for six months to families “whose homes are uninhabitable or were completely destroyed” because of the fires, according to The Boot.
Then, the country star organized a telethon benefit, to raise money for those affected by the fires. The latest additions to Smoky Mountains Rise: A Benefit for the My People Fund are Chris Stapleton, Chris Young, Big & Rich, Michael W. Smith, Amy Grant, LoCash, Chris Janson and Montgomery Gentry. Reba McEntire, Kenny Rogers and Alison Krauss were previously announced as performers.
“I’m truly honored that these artists are giving their time and energy to help us raise money for everyone affected by the wildfires,” Parton said in a release. “I’ve got so many great friends in the industry, and I’m so proud that they were so ready to step up and help me help my people in the Smoky Mountains through this telethon and the My People Fund.”
Parton’s benefit event will air December 13 on the Great American Country network, AXS TV, RFD and the Heartland Network from 8 p.m. EST until 11 p.m. EST. A number of other platforms will simulcast the event.
Those looking to donate to the My People Fund can do so now on the Dollywood Foundation website, or via mail:
My People Fund
c/o Dollywood Foundation
111 Dollywood Ln.
Pigeon Forge, TN 37863
During the telethon, viewers will be able to call 1-866-CARE MORE to donate.
A December 3 update from the Tennessee Emergency Management Association reported that there are 13 confirmed deaths and 100 confirmed injuries due to the fires. During the evacuations, guests of Dollywood’s cabins and DreamMore Resort were relocated; though the theme park itself was unharmed, a dozen of its Smoky Mountain Cabins were damaged or destroyed. According to TEMA, 1,413 structures were damaged or destroyed by the fires.