Dolly Parton Shares How Her Father Inspired Her Successful Children’s Charity

by Jeremy Spirogis
Dolly Parton Shares How Her Father Inspired Her Successful Children’s Charity

Dolly Parton is an inspiration and a job mannequin. She constructed her music profession and wealth from scratch, and he or she additionally lives a lifetime of kindness and generosity. One of her charitable endeavors is The Imagination Library, which supplies books to younger kids whereas they’re studying to learn. Parton says she bought the thought for this explicit mission from her late father. 

Dolly Parton | Rui Vieira – PA Images by way of Getty Images

Parton was a visitor on The Oprah Conversation on Nov. 13. When Winfrey requested about The Imagination Library, Parton advised the story of how her father impressed the thought and helped her construct the charity earlier than his dying. 

Dolly Parton noticed illiteracy firsthand rising up

Parton tells numerous tales about rising up poor. She sings about them too. These tales aren’t nearly her coat of many colours or different struggles. Parton says she noticed her father fighting restricted formal schooling.

“Going back to why I started the Imagination Library, my dad grew up way back in the mountains of East Tennessee as well,” Parton advised Winfrey. “He’s from a very big family of 14, 15 kids. Back in those days and in those hills, most people didn’t get a chance to go to school because there was only a one room school and it was a couple miles away in bad weather or whatever. Most people like that, their kids had to go to work in the fields, try to help feed the rest of the family.”

Parton noticed the emotional results lacking out on education had on her father later in his life. 

Dolly Parton Imagination LibraryDolly Parton Imagination Library
Dolly Parton | Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

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“Daddy never had a chance to go,” Parton continued. “He never got to go to school so he couldn’t read and write but Daddy was a really smart man. He managed to raise that big of a family just by being able to horse trade and barter and do all the things that you have to do, but he was ashamed that he couldn’t read and write. That always bothered me that he felt like he couldn’t learn after he was grown.”

Dolly Parton concerned her father in The Imagination Library

Once Parton had the assets, she determined to do one thing for kids rising up in comparable conditions to her father. 

“So I remember thinking I need to do something about that,” Parton mentioned. “I can. I’m in a position now where I can do something. So I said, ‘Dad, I want to start a program called the Imagination Library. We’re going to give books to kids when they’re little so they can learn to read in their most impressionable years. I want you to help me with that.’ I did. We put the program together.”

The Imagination Library exceeded her goals 

Parton’s ambitions for The Imagination Library have been modest. When they exploded, she was blissful it might be her father’s legacy. Robert Lee Parton died in 2000.

Imagination LibraryImagination Library
L-R: Dr. Carla Hayden and Dolly Parton | Shannon Finney/Getty Images

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“I thought, ‘Well, it’ll do good in our little county there, Sevier county and maybe a few counties over.’ The next thing you know, they took it all over Tennessee. Governor Bill Bredesen at that time, he thought it was a great program. Now it’s in Canada. It’s all over the world and we’ve given away about 150 million books since we started.”

Even now that he’s gone, Parton believes Robert is trying down on The Imagination Library. 

“My dad got to live long enough to see the Imagination doing well and the little kids calling me the book lady,” Parton mentioned. “So I just always know he’s up there somewhere thinking, ‘You go, girl. You’re doing good.’”

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