Dolly Parton is doing her part amid the coronavirus pandemic.
During a virtual appearance on Thursday’s “Today”, the country music icon talks about her $1-million donation to Vanderbilt University Medical Center for coronavirus research and her new “Goodnight with Dolly” YouTube series.
Parton, 74, announced her generous donation to the Nashville university on Instagram Wednesday night, which was inspired by a longtime friend and doctor who’s been involved in research at Vanderbilt for several years.
“He was telling me they have come up with a bridge treatment to save lives while they find the vaccine,” she tells Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie. “I don’t know all the details but they are very excited about it and something very helpful and Vanderbilt is such a wonderful hospital, so good to me and my family through the years, and I like to donate to them every now and then.”
The singer added there is no better time to make a donation, telling the hosts, “I just felt this was the time for me to open my heart and my hand.”
Parton is also preparing for the launch of her new YouTube series “Goodnight with Dolly”, in which she reads to children online.
“As you know I’m the book lady, I have my imagination library where we give books to children all over the world so I thought, Well, this would be a wonderful time with kids having to be stuck at home with their parents,” explains Dolly. “I thought, Why don’t I just read a book to everybody while the parents have their kids up in bed.”
Dolly will launch the series tonight with the reading of The Little Engine That Could and continue every Thursday for 10 weeks.
To uplift viewers, Dolly also sings portions of “Light of a Clear Blue Morning” and “Have a Little Faith in Me”.
To keep busy in self-isolation, Dolly reveals she’s been doing “a lot of fun things on social media.”
Last week, the singer shared an uplifting message to all her fans reminding the world to “keep the faith.”
“I write a lot of parodies, we try to think of fun stuff, scriptures, kind of make up things to lift up peoples’ spirits,” she says on “Today”. “I do think we have to be concerned and aware and alert, but I think fear sometimes is so crippling it paralyzes you so you can’t do anything.”