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Dolly Parton Donates $1M for Pediatric Infectious Disease Research - Here's Why She Loves to Give

Dolly Parton performs at Austin City Limits Live during Blockchain Creative Labs' Dollyverse event during the South by Southwest Music Festival on March 18, 2022, in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Jack Plunkett/Invision/AP, File)

Music legend Dolly Parton, who's also well-known for her philanthropy, has donated $1 million for pediatric infectious disease research at Vanderbilt University Medical Center located in Nashville, Tennessee. 

ABC News reports Parton's donation will support the fight against diseases such as COVID-19 as well as help researchers prevent and understand antibiotic resistance and diagnose and treat infections in children who are fighting cancer.

"I love children," Dolly said in a statement. "No child should ever have to suffer, and I'm willing to do my part to try and keep as many of them as I can as healthy and safe as possible."

Mark Denison, M.D., professor of pediatrics and the director of the division of pediatric infectious diseases told ABC the university was "deeply honored" by Parton's donation and that the gift would "accelerate" the work the institution has been doing for more than 40 years and "support new ideas."

She has also made major contributions to the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt Pediatric Cancer Program, according to the network. 

Jeff Balser, M.D, Ph.D., president and CEO of Vanderbilt University Medical Center and dean of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, said Parton's various donations over the years have "already saved countless lives" and "{speak} volumes about her passion for people."

As CBN News reported, Parton also donated $1 million in 2020 to the medical center to help fund research for the Moderna vaccine to fight COVID-19.  

Parton has also financially helped other causes over the years. 

In October of 2021, the Dollywood Foundation raised $700,000 for flood victims in areas of middle Tennessee.

Last December, Parton's Imagination Library project announced that it donated more than 170 million books to children under five.

During an interview with People Magazine at the time, Parton acknowledged how gratifying it is to give to those in need.

"I'm kind of addicted to the feeling of giving," she said. "Knowing that I'm doing something good for someone else. It makes my heart feel good to know that I can do something for somebody else."

However, she's reluctant to accept too much attention for her good deeds.

"I don't want to be worshiped, because there's a scripture in my Bible that talks about idol worship," Parton pointed out. "And I see that happening all the time with movie stars and these celebrities. People literally worship them more than they worship God. And I just - I cringe at it sometimes."

Parton was named by People Magazine as one of 2021′s people of the year.

The singer went on to say that there's also a lot of "pressure" that comes with that honor, but she's happy to be able to set a "good example" for others.

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