Dolly Parton using her voice to help children at Nashville hospital: 'Makes my heart happy'

The country music icon's goal is to spread messages of hope

Dolly Parton is helping children, family, and staff at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt this holiday season.

On Wednesday, she announced a new initiative called the "Jingle Challenge," which hopes will uplift kids' spirits as they spend Christmas at the Nashville children’s hospital.

The country musician's goal is to encourage her fans to spread messages of hope, with a goal of reaching 10,000 holiday messages to children and staff.

Fellow artists Blake Shelton, Lauren Alaina, Jon Pardi, Sara Evans, Rascal Flatts, Lady A, Runaway June, Abby Anderson, Jillian Jacqueline, Travis Denning, and more will join Dolly this month to participate in the Jingle Challenge.  

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“Knowing that kids at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt will get to see how many people across the world are thinking of them this holiday season makes my heart happy,” Parton said in a press release. “You know, The Hannah Dennison Butterfly Garden is something we dedicated a few years back, so I know adding this picture of hope to our Dolly Digital Sleigh campaign will be a blessing to all the families.”

Dolly Parton is helping children, family, and staff at a Nashville hospital. 

Dolly Parton is helping children, family, and staff at a Nashville hospital.  (Netflix )

In 2018, the butterfly garden was renamed in honor of and dedicated to Parton’s niece Hannah Dennison, a survivor of childhood cancer, who was treated at Monroe Carell.

“We are so grateful to Dolly, all the participating artists and our larger community for virtually delivering messages of encouragement and support to our children, their families and our amazing staff,” said Dr. Meg Rush, president of Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.

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“It is heartwarming to know that during this holiday season our hospital is wrapped in the caring spirit of our community, which serves as the foundation of the work we do every day as we provide hope and healing to children and families all year round," she added.

Dolly Parton helped fund the research for the Moderna coronavirus vaccine.

Dolly Parton helped fund the research for the Moderna coronavirus vaccine. (Wade Payne/Invision/AP, File)

Parton, 74, has long devoted her life to charity work. Most recently, she helped fund Moderna's coronavirus vaccine research with a $1 million donation in April.

"I felt like this was the time for me to open my heart and my hand and try to help," Parton said on the "Today" show in November.

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“I’m just happy that anything I do can helps somebody else,” she added. "When I donated the money to the COVID[-19] fund I just wanted it to do good and evidently, it is! Let’s just hope we can find a cure real soon.”