Swift has pledged to join the Academy of Country Music in donating $100,000 to help the people affected by the East Tennessee fires, bringing the total to $200,000 to start the telethon.
ACM Executive Vice President and Managing Director Tiffany Moon said, “The Academy and ACM Lifting Lives are honoured to contribute in a meaningful way to Dolly’s heroic efforts to help the people of her hometown — and when Taylor heard what we were planning, she offered to match our gift, which gives it that much more impact. We are so grateful to Taylor for her support to the Academy’s charitable efforts through the years, and for helping us and Dolly Parton assist families in need at a time of crisis.”
Country music star Kenny Chesney is also joining forces with the Country Music Association to donate $500,000 for relief efforts, a good portion of which will go to the My People Fund.
“Growing up in East Tennessee, the only thing greater than the beauty of the region is the heart of the people who live there,” said Chesney in a statement. “It is devastating to think of what’s been lost in terms of the fire, but overwhelming for the families facing rebuilding their lives – in many cases – from scratch. I’m appreciative that CMA shares my hope that these families can feel our love at a time of such tragedy.”
Parton has already pledged $1,000 per month to each family that lost a home in the devastating natural disasters.
“I’ve always believed charity begins at home, and my home is someplace special,” Parton said while announcing the fund. “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.”
More country artists, including Chris Stapleton, Chris Young and Amy Grant, will join Parton for the Smoky Mountains Rise: A Benefit for the My People Fund telethon.
All funds donated will go the families affected by the fires in Sevier County and the City of Gatlinburg.
The telethon, Smoky Mountains Rise: A Benefit for the My People Fund, will be broadcast on Dec.13 on ABC.
Those wishing to make a donation can visit the Dollywood Foundation Page.