Breaking News Emails
Country music legend Dolly Parton pledged Wednesday night to pay $1,000 a month to families who lost their homes in wildfires in her native Sevier County, Tennessee, "until they get back up on their feet."
"I've always believed that charity begins at home," Parton said in a video statement Wednesday night.
She said her companies — which include Dollywood theme park and other properties in the line of the fires that forced 14,000 people to evacuate their homes this week — "want to provide a hand up to all those families that have lost everything in the fires and to recover."
Parton's Dollywood Foundation set up the "My People Fund" to receive contributions to cover the payments. Details will be available Friday on the foundation's website.
"I know it's been a trying time for my people, and this assistance will help," she said, adding: "Thank you for your help, continued prayers and your concern."
Seven people have been confirmed dead so far in the wildfires raging in Sevier County in and around Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Dollywood, in the resort town of Pigeon Forge, wasn't damaged, a spokesman said, but the flames have come perilously close.