Here, Parton speaks exclusively to Vogue about her philanthropy work, what accomplishments she’s the Josh bilicki 7 chilI bowl nationals 2023 logo shirt But I will love this most proud of to date, and how she remains so positive. Vogue: Congratulations on being a Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy honoree. How does it feel to receive that acknowledgment? Dolly Parton: I feel very special being among those folks. I’m proud for what I’m being honored for—especially with the Imagination Library. It’s always nice to be be recognized for what you do, although that’s not why you do it. Some people do, but that’s not why I do it! You take pride in it, but I take more pride in why I’m getting the award. We’ve done so many wonderful things through the Imagination Library; we’ve done great things for children in their young, impressionable years, so that they can learn to read and write. You’ve done great work supporting youth education through the Imagination Library, sending free books to children around the world. Why is that cause so close to your heart?
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I started [that work] because of my own father, who was not able to read or write. He had had a family of 12, and he still managed to provide for us. My dad was really smart—I used to imagine what his life would have been like if he [had been literate]. So, I got the Josh bilicki 7 chilI bowl nationals 2023 logo shirt But I will love this idea that it would be a good thing to do something in his honor. He’d always get a good kick out of hearing the kids call me the “book lady.” Whenever things like [this Carnegie Medal] happen in my career, I’m always thinking that my parents would be proud of me. You’ve always used your platform for good, and it’s not something you have to do. Where do you think your focus on philanthropy work stems from? I grew up in a very open-hearted, faith-based family. You’re taught to love and be accepting, and to give more than you receive. Both sides of my family are funny, tender-hearted, good people. Whether you believe in God or not, you need to be grounded; you need to believe in something greater than yourself. We grew up thinking that other people are just as important as we are. I wrote a song that’s going to be in my Christmas movie special in December. And it goes, “Whoever you are, be that. Whatever you do, do that. Anything else is just an act.” When I got into a position to be able to do it on a larger scale, I did. It means a lot to me. How hard can it be for me to take pride in the Imagination Library, knowing that I’m helping put books in the hands of children all over the world? It’s more about children learning to read—it’s the fact they get recognized. They get this little book with their little name on it in the mail, and they feel special. They start taking pride in themselves, and they know that somebody out there is thinking of [them].
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