Dolly Parton establishes My People Fund to help hometown families devastated by wildfires

VIDEO: Dolly Parton helps Sevier Co., TN families devastated by wildfires
Published: Dec. 2, 2016 at 10:23 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 2, 2016 at 10:47 PM EST
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Several people were killed in the Gatlinburg fires, which threatened Dollywood. (Source:...
Several people were killed in the Gatlinburg fires, which threatened Dollywood. (Source: WAVE/WBIR)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The Dollywood Foundation's My People Fund, established by country music superstar Dolly Parton to help the people of her Smoky Mountain birthplace who lost their homes in deadly wildfires, raised more than $1 million in its first 36 hours, but the need is much greater.

The My People Fund will provide $1,000 each month to Sevier County, TN families who homes were destroyed or are uninhabitable following the recent wildfires that killed several people. Renters and homeowners are eligible.

>> VIDEO: Dolly Parton encourages participation in her My People Fund

A pre-application for those affected is now available at Completion of the pre-application is not required but is encouraged to expedite the distribution process.

"We are proud to assist Dolly in the creation of the My People Fund," Dollywood Company President Craig Ross said. "We hope this serves as the first step to rebuilding for the families of the Sevier County community. We send our heartfelt thoughts and prayers to everyone affected."

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"It is our hope that the My People Fund will make a difference to those families looking for a way to move forward during this difficult time," Jim Rule, CEO of World Choice Investments, LLC said. "The Dixie Stampede and Lumberjack Adventure families are honored to help Dolly provide this special support."

"We are working to gain a better idea of the number of families affected by the tragedy," Dollywood Foundation President David Dotson said. "The My People Fund has already secured more than $1 million and climbing. But we know that substantially more donations will be required to meet the need."

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Significant donors to the program include Verizon, Tanger Outlets, Miley Cyrus' Happy Hippie Foundation, CoreCivic and The Blalock Company.

Anyone who would like to make a tax-deductible contribution to the My People Fund may visit Those wishing to send donations via mail should send them : My People Fund, c/o Dollywood Foundation, 111 Dollywood Lane, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863.

The Dollywood Foundation asks that the public spread the word about this effort by using the hashtags #MyPeopleFund and #someplacespecial.

Dollywood theme park reopened to guests Friday, Dec. 2 at 2 p.m. local time.

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