Verizon announced a $50,000 grant to support the wildfire relief efforts in Sevier County, Tenn. In partnership with the Dollywood Foundation, the donation will offer financial assistance to those displaced by the recent wildfires in the Great Smoky Mountains area.
"I'm honored by Verizon's support of our My People Fund," Dolly Parton said. "The outpouring of support to help families in my hometown is truly humbling for me."
The Dollywood Foundation recently announced plans to donate $1,000 a month for six months to the Tennessee families affected through the My People Fund. Dolly Parton's Dollywood Companies ― including the Dollywood theme park, DreamMore Resort, Dixie Stampede, Lumberjack Adventure, and the Dollywood Foundation ― established the My People Fund to provide financial assistance to any homeowner or renter whose primary residence was either completely lost or is uninhabitable due to the wildfires in Sevier County.
Dolly will host a telethon Tuesday, December 13 from 8-11 p.m. EST. Many celebrities will attend in support, and all proceeds will go to the My People Fund. More details on the telethon will be released in the coming days. So far, over 700 families have pre-applied online for support from the My People Fund, and the telethon aims to build the fund to meet this challenge.
Verizon's $50,000 contribution will provide financial assistance to more than eight local families over the next six months.
"During this difficult time, our heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with those who have been affected by this natural disaster," said Roger Tang, President - South East Market, Verizon Wireless. "As East Tennessee begins to heal, we hope Verizon's contributions will make a difference, and we urge others to make a gift to the My People Fund to help victims get back on their feet."
Verizon recently announced it would take care of any charges from talk, text and data over regular plans for impacted customers in qualified areas in Tennessee from 11/28-12/3. The company has supported the Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge communities by deploying mobile cellular equipment to supplement service in this area and has deployed charging stations for use by first responders as well as residents and visitors displaced in shelters.