Dolly Parton Receives 2022 Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy

‘I’ll Probably Sleep in This Tonight’

Dolly Parton made a trip to New York to officially accept her 2022 Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy trophy, which celebrates her decades of charitable efforts, especially her Dolly Parton Foundation and its creation of the Imagination Library.

As she accepted her award, the country legend delivered a nearly five-minute acceptance speech that packed in plenty of her signature light-hearted, down-home humor, and also conveyed the sincere gratitude she felt for the award.

“I’m proud to have this. I was afraid I was gonna have to take my hair off to get this on,” Parton joked at the beginning of her speech, holding up the thick red sash of the medal around her neck. “… I really am just honored and proud to be amongst these great people doing all these great things to try to help the world.”

After leading the crowd in a rousing rendition of a mini-song she wrote for the Imagination Library called “Books, Books,” Parton’s speech turned heartfelt.

“I just give from my heart. I never know what I’m gonna do or why I’m gonna do it. I just see a need, and if I can fill it, then I will,” she explained from the stage.

“I’m sure a lot of you out there, one time or another, have been made fun of for some reason or another. That’s a terrible feeling,” continued Parton, who got the idea to found the Imagination Library after seeing the ways in which her father’s illiteracy held him back in his life. “And to know that something, or someone, can make your life better is great. So I am just proud and honored to receive this medal.

See Dolly’s speech:

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