Dolly Parton is going to save the world, y'all.
This isn't something to be said lightly, especially at a time like this. Dolly's philanthropy and commitment to changing the world have come through once again. The country superstar has made a major contribution toward helping us get back to life as we knew it with a COVID-19 vaccine.
On Monday, Moderna announced that its vaccine trials had produced better-than-anticipated results. It's currently thought to be almost 95% effective against COVID-19. The announcement came in the form of documents and data that reporters pored over before sharing the good news.
Eagle-eyed reporters happened to spot a familiar name in the funding and disclosure information. It appears that a $1 million donation Dolly made to Vanderbilt University Medical Center earlier in the year was part of what made the vaccine possible. Dolly herself had no idea that that's where her donation went until now.
On Monday, Moderna shared the wonderful news that its vaccine was nearly 95% effective against COVID-19. The news was widely reported. During that reporting, some noticed a familiar name listed under the funding for the vaccine. The Dolly Parton COVID-19 Research Fund was cited for its donation to Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
Dolly first donated back in April, when she spoke to her friend, Dr. Naji Abumrad of the Vanderbilt Institute for Infection, Immunology, and Inflammation at Vanderbilt University, about the "exciting advancements" being made.
Dolly has also funded research into COVID-19 treatments, including a convalescent plasma at Vanderbilt University, as reported by The Guardian. While the vaccine results are still preliminary, the company believes it can apply for an Emergency Use Authorization by the end of the month, which is a huge move.
It was, however, a surprise to Dolly herself. She found out about how far her contribution went at the same time that the rest of the world did. Dolly spoke about it on Tuesday on BBC's The One Show, sharing she felt "very honored and very proud" to be part of the exciting development.
"I'm sure many, many millions of dollars from many people went into that [research fund]. I just felt so proud to have been part of that little seed money that will hopefully grow into something great and help to heal this world. Lord knows we need it," she said.
"I'm a very proud girl today to know I had anything at all to do with something that's going to help us through this crazy pandemic."
Dolly also spoke about the news during an appearance on Today.
"That's what I understand this morning. I haven't read up enough. They told me that just before I came on the air," she shared.
"I'm just happy that anything I do can help someone else," Dolly said.
"When I donated the money to the COVID fund, I just wanted it to do good and evidently, it is. I just hope we find a cure, real soon."
As you can imagine, the internet was thrilled to learn that Dolly has continued being the light the world needs right now. She's just one of the rare pure figures who are thoughtful and intentional in everything she does. She genuinely wants to leave the world a better place than she found it, and she's crushed that goal.
And of course, there were jokes. There were a lot of jokes, but not the mean-natured ones we've become accustomed to. Even the jokes were light and joyous and included no finite number of "Jolene" rewrites.
Dolly's history of philanthropy goes way back. As many have pointed out, Dolly could easily be a billionaire right now were it not for her giving spirit. She's not the greedy type by a long shot, instead focused on helping people from all walks of life.
Dolly's also been hard at work making sure this holiday season is extra-special for her fans. In the last few weeks, she's released a Christmas album, announced two holiday TV movies, promoted her new book, and now casually funded a potentially lifesaving vaccine. That's just how Dolly rolls.