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Dolly Parton, fairy godmother of American literacy, is also the fairy godmother of American health.

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November 18, 2020, 1:00pm

We already love Dolly Parton, not just for her powerhouse songwriting and iconic hair but also for her championing of American literacy—her Imagination Library sends over 1 million free books per month (that’s one book every two seconds!) to children ages 0-5 in the United States, Canada, the U.K., and Australia. So imagine our further amazement when we learned she also helped finance the Moderna coronavirus vaccine, which has been found to reduce the risk of coronavirus infection by 94.5 percent.

Parton donated $1 million dollars to Vanderbilt University’s coronavirus research back in April, and only learned that her money was used to finance Moderna’s vaccine on the 12th when she saw her name on a list of sponsors. Parton told BBC’s The One Show that she felt “very honored and proud…to have been part of that little seed money that will hopefully grow into something great and help to heal this world.” She is so humble!

We’re obviously not the only ones obsessed with Dolly Parton: two new deep dives on Parton’s songwriting and impact have been published this fall. Catch us reading She Come By It Natural: Dolly Parton and the Women Who Lived Her Songs and Unlikely Angel: The Songs of Dolly Parton in the waiting room for our vaccination.

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