The Strange Way Dolly Parton’s Parents Paid For Her Birth

In a 2020 interview with USA Today, Parton stated that the doctor that delivered her in 1946 was paid with a sack of cornmeal. Her father had no money and paid him with whatever he had at the time. Perhaps it was this hardscrabble beginning that made her more empathetic to the struggles of others.

According to Mental Floss, Parton has donated to several charities throughout the years and has even founded a few of her own. In the 1980s, Parton started the Buddy Up program in Sevier County, Tennessee, where she grew up. Yardbarker reports that every seventh- and eighth-grader in the county was asked to pair up with another student. If they both graduated high school, they would get $500 each. As a result, the dropout rate declined to 6%.

In 1995, Parton created her Imagination Library to increase literacy in Tennessee. The organization mails one book per month to children enrolled in the program until their first year of school. Billboard reports that she founded the library in honor of her father, who was unable to read. Most recently, Parton donated $1 million for Coronavirus research. This later helped fund the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine (via CNN). In an interview with Reuters, Parton stated that the more money she gets, the more she gives. She has reiterated that she understands the struggles of people who have very little because she too was once poor. 

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