Gatlinburg Fire update: The details of the Country Music Association's donations to the Dolly Parton Foundation are emerging, and it looks as though the country singer's desire to help Sevier County families whose homes were damaged or destroyed by the wildfires is coming to life.
It seems the CMA entertainers and Parton have their work cut out for them. The Tennessee Emergency Management agency reports that in the ongoing wildfire recovery efforts in Sevier County, there is an "emphasis now on the recovery phase of the mission," and it has "projects to conduct a thorough damage assessment from the wildfire and support local officials with resource requests."
Previously, country singer Parton disclosed her reasons for establishing the fund to help victims on her Dollywood page.
"I've always believed charity begins at home and that's why I've asked my companies to help me establish a fund to assist the victims of the Great Smoky Mountain wildfires in Tennessee."
More information, per Dolly Parton's statements on the matter of the wildfires and the devastation affecting numerous neighbors around Gatlinburg where she grew up, was given by the singer. She had praise for the first responders of course.
"On the night of Nov. 28, 2016, terrible wildfires affected the Great Smoky Mountains around Gatlinburg, TN where I grew up. The firefighters, first responders, the Red Cross and many other organizations have done an incredible job in their emergency response efforts."
Parton has been using her social media accounts -- including Twitter, where she has 4.3 million followers -- for fundraising efforts on behalf of wildfire victims.
It has warmed my heart to see people coming together for the #MyPeopleFund. If you would like to give go to https://t.co/Uydp1gDCwJ pic.twitter.com/b6L124Tbft
— Dolly Parton (@DollyParton) December 6, 2016
The details on the CMA donations from SFGate state that Parton set up the My People Fund as a means to provide about $1,000 each month to victims of the Gatlinburg fires.
The Gatlinburg fire update news being reported by the Tennessean also reveals that the wildfires in East Tennessee were devastating to victims. They were "responsible for 14 deaths and millions of dollars worth of damage," per the report on Friday. Also mentioned is the fact that Kenny Chesney, a country singer also mentioned as having ties to the region, is pledging help to those who still are suffering as well through the CMA.
In fact, per the information available, Chesney is the one who has "partnered with the Country Music Association to donate $500,000 for relief efforts." A portion of that money will be earmarked for Parton's My People Fund.
More Gatlinburg fire fundraising news comes as Chesney has also taken to social media for fundraising on behalf of the Gatlinburg fire victims. He tweeted recently to his over 2 million followers on Twitter about the fact.
Take a second to help if you can: https://t.co/5emaPaqSvO pic.twitter.com/Q9IyaCghuU
— Kenny Chesney (@kennychesney) December 5, 2016
Parton is hopeful for the victims and their families.
"Now as we look to the future, there are a lot of families who will need our help rebuilding and restoring their lives and the beautiful land we all call home."
Per the TEMA report, there is still a "Level III - State of Emergency" in place for Sevier County due to the fires and the previous drought and other storms which have devastated the people.
"The Tennessee Department of Health is now providing free testing of home wells and similar water sources for some Gatlinburg-area residents who have been directly impacted by the drought and wildfires. Testing will occur in phases to accommodate most urgent needs first."
For Gatlinburg fire updates on the information about home well-testing eligibility, please call the Tennessee Department of Health toll-free 866-327-9105 or send them an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
[Featured Image by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP Images]