Dolly Parton’s Big Heart Has Paid Off In A Big Way.
The country music legend is the latest recipient of the Bezos Courage and Civility Award.
Jeff Bezos, founder and former president and CEO of Amazon, presented Dolly with the award and the cash prize that goes along with it on Friday (November 11). Bezos was joined by his longtime partner, Lauren Sanchez, to present the honor.
“The award recognizes leaders who aim high, find solutions, and who always do it with civility. Each awardee receives $100 million to direct to the charities that they see fit,” Sanchez told the audience.
“We have in this room the next recipient of the Courage and Civility Award. The woman you’re about to meet embodies these ideals so thoroughly. She gives with her heart. What she’s done for kids, literacy, and so many other things is just incredible,” Bezos shared before introducing Dolly.
“Wow! Did you say $100 million?” Dolly exclaimed when she took the stage. “When people are in a position to help, you should help. And I know that I’ve always said I try to put my money where my heart is….I will do my best to do good things with this money.”
Dolly Parton Has Long Been Known For Her Philanthropy.
The multi-talented star was awarded with the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy last month. Upon receiving the award she told PEOPLE that charity isn’t about the tax write-off.
“I always want to do things that I can be proud to talk about, things that I believe in,” Parton told PEOPLE. “I cannot be a hypocrite and just say I’m going to donate this money for a tax write-off. I’d really like for it to mean something to me – something I can take pride in.”
In 1995, Dolly started the Imagination Library, a program that has since gifted more than 193 million books to help boost childhood literacy.
The 76-year-old’s My People Fund donated $9 million in 2016 to people in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, Tennessee, who had lost their homes to the wildfires that ravaged the area that year.
More recently, Dolly contributed $1 million to the development of Moderna’s CO V ID-19 vaccination.
Dolly hasn’t shared what she plans to do with her $100 million prize from Jeff Bezos.