Dolly Parton is stepping up to help fight the coronavirus.
On Wednesday, the entertainment icon said she has donated $1 million to Vanderbilt Hospital as it fights to find a treatment for COVID-19.
“My longtime friend Dr. Naji Abumrad, who’s been involved in research at Vanderbilt for many years, informed me that they were making some exciting advancements towards research of the coronavirus for a cure,” wrote Parton. “I am making a donation of $1 million to Vanderbilt towards that research.”
She’s encouraging other who “can afford it” to make contributions, too.
Earlier this week, the 74-year-old entertainer shared a message for first responders and medical personnel fighting the coronavirus, likening the pandemic to “a war.”
“I know it’s easy for us to sit home and watch you on television and feel sorry for you because what you’re going through, but we are at war and you’re on the frontlines,” she said. “We just want you to know we’re praying for you and we appreciate you more than you can imagine.”
Last month, Parton said she believes there’s a “lesson” in this pandemic that God is trying to teach all of us.
“I think God’s in this, I really do,” she explained. “I think he’s trying to hold us up to the light so we can see ourselves and see each other through the eyes of love. And I hope we learn that lesson.”
Parton’s donation to Vanderbilt comes the same week the university announced 86 of its employees had tested positive for COVID-19. Some of them have already recovered and are back to work. The remaining employees are currently in self-isolation. None of them, the university said, have been hospitalized with complications from the virus.