Taylor Swift and Kenny Chesney Match ACM and CMA Donations to Benefit Tennessee Fire Victims
Taylor Swift and the Academy of Country Music donated $200,000 to Dolly Parton's upcoming charity telethon, benefiting victims of the Tennessee wildfires
The 26-year-old country superstar has matched a $100,000 donation from the ACM and ACM Lifting Lives — kicking off Dolly Parton‘s upcoming charitable telethon with a $200,000 gift.
“The Academy and ACM Lifting Lives are honored 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,” Executive Vice President and Managing Director of the Academy Tiffany Moon said in a statement.
“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,” she added.
The donation — and all moneys raised in Tuesday’s Smoky Mountains Rise benefit — will go to the Dollywood Foundation My People Fund. It was established by Parton this week to assist families affected by the devastating Smoky Mountain wildfires two juveniles are charged with starting in Sevier County, Tennessee.
Each month, $1,000 will be provided by the My People Fund to Sevier County families whose homes are uninhabitable or were completely destroyed. Any family who lost their primary residence (renters and homeowners) due to the wildfires in Sevier County will be eligible for the donation. Those affected can apply at dollywoodfoundation.org.
Additionally, Kenny Chesney and the Country Music Association are contributing $500,000 ($250,000 each) towards wildfire relief, a portion of which will be earmarked for Parton’s My People Funds.
“I have been watching the terrible fires in the Great Smoky Mountains and I am heartbroken,” Parton previously told PEOPLE in a statement. “I am praying for all the families affected by the fire and the firefighters who are working so hard to keep everyone safe. It is a blessing that my Dollywood theme park, the DreamMore Resort and so many businesses in Pigeon Forge have been spared.”
“I know it’s been a trying time for my people, and this assistance will help,” she said in a video announcement about her foundation. “Thank you for your help, continued prayers, and your concern. And I hope you’ll soon visit our Tennessee mountains and experience our Tennessee spirt.”
RELATED VIDEO: Why Dolly Parton Absolutely Loves Taylor Swift
The 70-year-old country music icon had a lot of praise for Swift when speaking to PEOPLE in March 2015.
“I think that little Taylor Swift has just done amazing,” Parton said. “She knew exactly who she was, she had her dream, and she stuck with it. That’s what you gotta do. I’m just so proud of her.”
Just don’t ask Parton to give advice to Swift – or any other singer for that matter.
“I’m not one to give advice, because I never wanted anyone to give me advice,” she said with a laugh. “If someone comes to me, I say, ‘What I did was this, but I’m not you.’ It’s different for each person.”
Smoky Mountains Rise: A Benefit for the My People Fund airs Tuesday, Dec. 13 at 8 p.m EST on Great American Country.