The Smoky Mountains’ most famous songbird is hosting a telethon for the victims of the area’s recent and devastating wildfires, and you can join in, courtesy of RFD-TV.
The network and Rural Radio Channel 147 on SiriusXM Radio have partnered with the one and only Dolly Parton and her Dollywood Foundation My People Fund to help raise money for the people directly affected by the blaze, which destroyed more than 1,750 structures, displaced hundreds of families and brought the area’s No. 1 industry, tourism, to a standstill.
The nationally-broadcast, three-hour telethon “Smoky Mountains Rise: A Benefit for the My People Fund,” will air Tuesday, Dec. 13 at 8/7CT and feature performances by Parton’s pals Reba McEntire, Kenny Rogers, Alison Krauss and others yet to be announced.
“My home in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee is some place special,” Parton said in an RFD-TV statement. “Wildfires have affected many of the people — my people — who live in those beautiful mountains. We want to provide a hand up to those families who have lost everything in the fires. I know it has been a trying time for my people and this assistance will help get them back on their feet.”
“I’m so proud that RFD-TV and Rural Radio can be a part of the efforts to help the families devastated by these wildfires,” Patrick Gottsch, founder and president of Rural Media Group said in the same release. “This telethon will be a great opportunity to raise more funds to help support the people of Tennessee. RFD-TV viewers and Rural Radio listeners are some of the most compassionate people you’ll meet, and I have no doubt they will step up to help the affected families.”
During the telethon, viewers can call 1-866-CAREMORE (1-866-227-3667) to donate. Fans can also log onto the Dollywood Foundation web site to donate.
The “My People Fund” provides direct relief to the families who lost their homes. According to the foundation, “Each family will receive $1,000 per month for six months to give them a hand up. The funds are open to both renters and homeowners whose primary residences are uninhabitable or were destroyed by wildfires in the Smokies. To date nearly 1,700 structures have been affected by the fire and 13 people have died. More than $1 million has already been raised for area families through the fund.”
Any remaining funds will provide direct aid in Sevier County, Tennessee.
According to a release from the foundation, people seeking relief from the My People Fund should come to the CARE MORE Assistance Center at the LeConte Events Center in Pigeon Forge from 7am-10pm Dec. 15-16 and Dec. 19-20. One check per household per month will be issued and all recipients must show a photo ID. Those needing assistance in the application process should call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD.