Be More Like Dolly

November 29, 2022

Be like Dolly-1

Admit it, “Be more like Dolly Parton” may not have been the first thing you may have expected me to say. We work in different fields, and to put it mildly, I do not share her musical talents or stellar celebrity.

But a story I heard about Dolly has stayed with me. Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, recently awarded Dolly Parton $100 million dollars to continue her quest to educate those who cannot read. I’m sure her reach and continued efforts to stamp out illiteracy may surprise those who don’t know her well…but this is the path she chose for giving back.  Bezos said, "We have in this very room, the recipient of the next 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, for illiteracy and so many other things — is just incredible."

"Did you say 100 million dollars?!" Parton, reacted after she received the award. She further shared, "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." Parton has long been a positive force behind supporting kids who have difficulty reading. Inspired by her father's own illiteracy, she launched the Imagination Library project in 1995 and has now donated almost 170 million books to children under five – including many here in the Dayton Area.  Wow, what would you do if you were awarded 100 million dollars to continue with your good deeds?

When you start understanding the needs of the world, your country, your state and your community, it can be quite overwhelming. Where do you start? I think Giving Tuesday is a great way to begin your giving journey. The organization was created in 2012 as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good. Since then, it has grown into a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity. Some of the ways I like to give are to support some local groups such as Beavercreek Wetlands, Feed the Creek ,The Dayton Food Bank, and local Lego teams.

I once heard that when one has been given much, one needs to also give in return. As a mom, I’ve been working with my own kids to understand the importance of giving back and supporting causes and non-profit organizations that align with what interests them. This may involve natural disaster relief that “hits” an area they may know and love or continued research to cure a disease plaguing way too many people in the world. The point is to help people that have been less fortunate than we have – to be generous with our time, our resources, and our hearts.

With that, I like to remember Mohammed Ali’s famous quote, “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.” So, I’m planning to be like Dolly and give on Giving Tuesday and I hope that you feel the same. I’m sure your heart would be just as large as Dolly’s, in this season of Giving Thanks.


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