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After Giving Millions to Fire Victims, Dolly Parton Shocks Families With One More Surprise

As the reigning queen of country music, 71-year-old Dolly Parton has had over 100 singles and been inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

It's not just her music that has topped charts, she is also known for her incredible generosity.

In 2016, wildfires raged through Sevier County causing nearly $1 billion in damages. With hurricane-strength winds the fire destroyed homes and killed 14 people.

After firefighters got the blaze under control the Tennessee native jumped into action to help with the relief.

She formed the My People Fund, and pledged to provided $1,000 per month for 6 months to the 921 individuals in Sevier Country whose homes were destroyed by the fire.

But when families showed up to get their final check this month, they were shocked about what they found instead.

Instead of a check for $1,000, they discovered the checks were $5,000 instead! That brought the total of funds to each individual to a whopping $10,000 each.


"This is some extra money from the fund. We had six months that I promised I would give you money every month, and we had some extra money as a surprise, so there's $5,000 for a bonus check," she says in the PEOPLE Now video, as she hands a check over to a young girl sitting on her father's lap.

David Dotson, president of the Dollywood Foundation said, "We had a surplus with the money we raised and have been talking about doing this for the last couple weeks. We talked about the best route we wanted to take to properly distribute the funds that we had remaining."

After a very successful telethon in December, it's no wonder that there was extra money left in the bank.

With big donations of $200,000 from Taylor Swift and $100,000 from singer Paul Simon, the relief efforts really made a difference in people's lives.

Residents were flabbergasted by the incredible generosity of the music star.

"I just don't know what we would have done without this Dolly fund," resident Amanda Green told Knoxville News Sentinel. "I'm still in shock."

But that wasn't the only surprise she had in store for the residents.

She announced the creation of an organization called Mountain Tough. Mountain Tough will pick up immediately where the My People Fund project left off, pledging to support fire victims for the next 3 years.

When asked about the relief efforts, Dolly said, "It makes me feel humble. ... [W]hen you're in a position to help, you should help."