Dolly Parton Donates a Million Dollars to Coronavirus Research at Vanderbilt

The country star is encouraging others who "can afford it" to also make donations during this time

Dolly Parton
Dolly Parton. Photo: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

Dolly Parton is doing her part to help pave the way to a coronavirus cure.

On Wednesday, the music icon shared on social media that she would be making a $1 million donation towards coronavirus research.

“My longtime friend Dr. Naji Abumrad, who’s been involved in research at Vanderbilt for many years, informed me that they were making some exciting advancements towards research of the coronavirus for a cure,” the singer shared on Instagram.

“I am making a donation of $1 million to Vanderbilt towards that research,” she continued, urging others out there who “can afford it” to make donations as well.

The “Jolene” artist signed off the post reminding her followers to “keep the faith” during this turbulent time.

Parton also took the time to shout out the “first responders, servicemen and servicewomen, and healthcare professionals all around the world” in a heartfelt video on Tuesday.

The 74-year-old thanked workers for “sacrificing [their] time and even [their] lives to the folks in need at this time.”

“I know it’s easy for us to sit home and watch you on television and feel sorry for you because what you’re going through, but we are at war and you’re on the frontlines,” she said.

“We just want you to know we’re praying for you and we appreciate you more than you can imagine,” she concluded the video.

Parton kicked off her week of good deeds on Monday, as she and her Imagination Library announced a new weekly video series called “Goodnight with Dolly,” in which Parton will read bedtime stories to her tiny fans around the world.

Kicking off on Thursday at 7 p.m. ET, the initiative hopes to help parents tuck their kids in at night as the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) forces families to self-isolate, practicing at-home learning and working their 9-to-5’s from home.

“This is something I have been wanting to do for quite a while, but the timing never felt quite right. I think it is pretty clear that now is the time to share a story and to share some love,” said Parton in a press release. “It is an honor for me to share the incredible talent of these authors and illustrators. They make us smile, they make us laugh, and they make us think.”

The country music legend will read such titles as The Little Engine That Could, Llama Llama Red Pajama and two of her own children’s book releases, I Am a Rainbow and Coat of Many Colors.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. To help provide doctors and nurses on the front lines with life-saving medical resources, donate to Direct Relief here.

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