DOLLY PARTON MAILS ONE FREE BOOK TO GREATER THAN A MILLION KIDS EVERY MONTH! – A RAINBOW OF ROLE MODELS {WEDNESDAY SERIES}

I celebrate ACHIEVEMENT EVERY DAY!  WEDNESDAY’S  “A Rainbow of Role Models,”   I do not see race, skin color, religion, sex, attractiveness (ok, I do like beautiful ladies), age, or any other nonsense.  I love learning from inspirational people that inspire me to drop MY EXCUSES and JUST DO IT! Role models who stretch my ambitions and model GIVING BACK!  

There is dignity in achievement and success—in becoming a great factor in civilization.” Carter G. Woodson. 

IMPACTING OTHERS

I hope you will share these short articles; perhaps a few people will be curious to learn more.

Disclaimer: Good Day, Readers.  WealthBuildingPowers blog is a financial literacy/competency blog and does not provide specific investment recommendations.  

INTRODUCTION

Jeff Bezos recently donated $100 Million to Dolly Parton, becasue this lady truly makes a diffference.  One of MANY of Parton’s most well-known projects is her Imagination Library. Over ONE MILLION BOOKS are mailed each month to children in need!

Here are some ways that Dolly Parton makes her community and the world a better place. – A RAINBOW OF ROLE MODELS {WEDNESDAY SERIES}

Here are some ways that Dolly Parton makes her community and the world a better place.

PAYING FOR STUDENTS’ BAND OR CHOIR UNIFORMS AT PREDOMINANTLY BLACK SCHOOLS

GIVING FREE BOOKS TO KIDS

One of Parton’s most well-known projects is her Imagination Library. Run through her non-profit, the Dollywood Foundation, the initiative was started in 1995 to increase literacy in Sevier County. Every child, regardless of income, was mailed an age-appropriate book each month until they reached the age of 5.

By 2000, the program had become so successful that it expanded to any community that wanted to partner and give local support. The Imagination Library can now be found in over 1,800 communities in the United States, as well as Canada, Australia, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. In 2018, Parton celebrated sending 100 million books to children, and she’s been the recipient of numerous awards for her work in literacy.

INCENTIVIZING KIDS TO FINISH HIGH SCHOOL

In the early 1990s, Parton discovered that the high school dropout rate in Sevier County was over 30%. She astutely realized that the lack of education was not only impacting the individual lives of local youth, but also making it difficult for the county to prosper. So, she started The Buddy Program, which targeted students in 7th and 8th grade. Parton met personally with the students to explain the program. It was very simple: the students needed to pair up. If both they and their partner graduated high school, Parton would hand each of them a check for $500. In addition, both partners had to sign a contract that they would be each other’s support system and do everything they could to help each other graduate.

The program was a rousing success, and soon the dropout rate plummeted to under 6%.

OFFERING FREE COLLEGE TUITION FOR ALL DOLLYWOOD EMPLOYEES

Since it opened in 1986, the Dollywood theme park has been a source of tourism and employment in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Three million people visit the theme park annually, making it the state’s biggest tourist attraction. In 2022, parent company Herschend Enterprises announced that all 11,000 full-time, part-time, and seasonal employees of Dollywood and the company’s other ventures who wanted to pursue higher education would have their fees paid for.

The education initiative, which is called the Grow U program, covers 100% of tuition, associated fees, and books for 108 programs from 30 universities. According to the Dollywood website, these degrees include Business Administration and Leadership, Finance, Technology, and Marketing. An additional 149 programs in Hospitality, Culinary, Engineering, Human Resources, and Art & Design are partially covered. And, importantly, employees can apply for funding from their first day on the job.

SUPPORTING VICTIMS OF THE GATLINBURG FIRE

In 2016, a complex series of wildfires spread through the Smoky Mountains, greatly impacting the towns of Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. Just two days after the fires, Parton, who was on tour at the time, called the CEO of the Dollywood Foundation to figure out how they could help. What they set up was an unprecedented way to help many of the families who had their lives destroyed by the fires.

Through the My People Fund, about 900 families received $1,000 a month for 6 months. In the final month, the support was raised to $5,000 due to incoming donations that the foundation had received. And if that weren’t enough, they also opened the Mountain Tough organization to assist in home site cleanups and provide a helping hand to those in need on a case-by-case basis. In total, $12.5 million from the foundation went to people in the county impacted by the fire.

USING SONG ROYALTIES TO REBUILD A PREDOMINANTLY BLACK NEIGHBORHOOD

Whitney Houston’s I Will Always Love You is one of the most recognizable songs of all time. But not everyone realizes that the song was written—and originally performed—by Parton. Though the song was already a #1 hit for Parton, it really skyrocketed to success after Houston’s iconic 1992 rendition. As the songwriter, Parton earned royalties from the ballad, and it’s estimated that just in the 1990s alone, she earned $10 million from the single.

So what did she do with all of the money? During a 2021 appearance on Watch What Happens Live, Parton divulged that she’d invested the money in a strip mall located in a predominantly Black part of Nashville.

“It was just off the beaten path from 16th Avenue, and I thought, ‘Well, I am going to buy this place, the whole strip mall.’ And thought, ‘This is the perfect place for me to be,’ considering it was Whitney. I just thought, ‘This was great. I will be down here with her people, who are my people as well. And so I just love the fact that I spent that money on a complex, and I think, ‘This is the house that Whitney built.’”

HELPING SAVE THE BALD EAGLE

In her 2020 book, Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics, she wrote that she related to eagles. The bird of prey actually features in many of her songs, including 1991’s Eagle When She Flies. And her love for the bird goes far beyond music. Since 1990, Dollywood has been home to an eagle sanctuary, which is run in partnership with the American Eagle Foundation.

The Eagle Mountain Sanctuary rehabilitates injured eagles and other birds of prey, releasing them into the wild when possible. Currently, the sanctuary is the largest gathering of non-releasable bald eagles in the world.  Parton once noted, “Back when we started it, bald eagles were beginning to be extinct. We’ve helped to get it back to where they aren’t so scarce anymore.”

In 2003, she was given a Partnership Award from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for her efforts in saving the bald eagle.

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JEFF BEZOS DONATES $100 MILLION TO DOLLY PARTON – GIVING “WITH HER HEART” CLICK BELOW LINK

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ABOUT ME

I am a proud nerd (as my beautiful wife and daughter have told me) investment and finance blogger with an N.C. State, Chemical Engineering, University Rutgers, MBA and Harvard University, Advanced Management education.

I left a corporate career because I desired to make a difference as a speaker and writer. I was blessed to be coached and mentored by strong women and men in my family and professional life.  It is my time to serve and give back.

DISCLAIMER

I started my first business at ~13 years of age (a small but brilliantly created plant nursery). I am a successful investor in stocks, options, and real estate and am happy to share my finance and investment lessons.  I am NOT a licensed financial advisor.  Please do not construe my suggestions on this blog as recommendations for your situation. As an investor, you must establish your risk/loss tolerance. Investment in any asset involves risk, including complete loss. 

 Please seek your licensed CPA or fiduciary financial advisors for individual financial advice.  

I write this weekly blog to make an impact by reaching an audience and demonstrating the need for financial literacy. I will help you get there.

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Powers Investments Management, LLC

This blog will provide, information and simple strategies, that will assist you to achieve YOUR financial objectives and long term targets. For over 30 years, I solved multi-million dollar problems, for Fortune 10-250, companies. My formal education includes: Business, Finance and Chemical Engineering {Problem Solving} at: Harvard, Rutgers and North Carolina State. And an additional 30+ years, managing my family’s investment decisions. I currently manage/advise people with net-worths ranging from the tens of thousands to several million dollars.

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