Dolly Parton lives up to her claim that she always tries to put her money where her heart is, with highly publicized examples including her Imagination Library initiative to promote children's literacy and her $1 million contribution to the development of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. She was recognized once again Saturday (Nov. 12) for her giving spirit when she was named as the 2022 winner of the Bezos Award for Courage and Civility. The award grants Parton $100 million to use toward her charitable efforts.
Parton was presented the award by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and his partner, media personality Lauren Sanchez.
During the presentation, Sanchez described the award as recognizing "leaders who aim high, find solutions and always do it with civility." Bezos added that Parton embodies "those ideals so thoroughly. She gives with her heart. What she has done for kids and literacy and so many other things is just incredible."
"When people are in the position to help, you should help," Parton said in a brief acceptance speech. "I know that I have always said, I try to put my money where my heart is. I'm going to do my best to do good things with this money."
Parton became the third recipient of the award, following author, lawyer and political commentator Van Jones and Spanish chef Jose Andres.
The country legend has donated over 193 million books to kids worldwide through the Imagination Library. She's also known for helping neighbors back home in East Tennessee through the Dollywood Foundation and other programs.
The honor came just one week after Parton was enshrined in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, making her just the 14th act or executive in both the rock and country halls of fame.