I seriously love Dolly Parton, y'all.
I mean, she's a mountain girl with big hair who followed her dreams and forged her own path. She basically drew a road map for me.
Of course, beyond her timeless songs (there really isn't a serious argument against my belief that Jolene is the best song ever written...) and two of the most iconic movie roles ever (Doralee and Truvy, obvs), there's Dolly's commitment to treating others well, sharing her good fortune, and generally doing the right thing. Dolly has been vocal about her support of marriage equality. She gave millions of dollars Gatlinburg-area families the funds to help them get back on their feet after devastating fires claimed their homes.
And then there's the Imagination Library. Y'all, this is seriously one of the coolest initiatives ever. Miss Dolly founded the Imagination Library in 1995 to provide books to the children of her hometown Sevierville, Tennessee. Dolly's mission to ensure that children had access to high-quality, age-appropriate books, regardless of household income, was designed to honor her own father, whose circumstances in the Appalachian hills of Tennessee led to his never learning to read or write. Over the past 22 years, the Imagination Library has mailed more than 100 million books to children in Australia, Belize, Canada, United Kingdom and the United States. This service is completely free to the recipients, y'all! Over 1600 communities are served, and over 1.1 million children have registered!
Here in Kentucky, there are over fifty Imagination Library affiliate programs. You can register your child aged 2-5, regardless of household income, if you live in an area supported by the Imagination Library. I love the fact that my little niece receives a monthly Imagination Library book! She already loves books, the alphabet, and reading, and she's showing every sign of having some seriously big hair of her own. It’s a pretty good start for a little mountain girl!
If you love Miss Dolly (and childhood literacy) as much as I do, then you should check out Dolly’s new children’s album, “I Believe in You” which is available in stores today! All proceeds from the album benefit the Imagination Library. There’s even a special edition CD package that comes with a children’s book based on Dolly’s song Coat of Many Colors. What a cute Christmas present!
Here's to big-haired mountain girls who know what they want, and who always exhibit grace and kindness on their journey!
Love Dolly as much as I do? Shop the Draper James What Would Dolly Do collection! This tee might be the most-complimented item I own!