Everyone makes mistakes, even former presidents.
Barack Obama confessed that he regrets not giving Dolly Parton a Presidential Medal of Freedom during his eight years in office, telling Stephen Colbert on Monday night's "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" that it was a "screw up," as reported by Page Six.
Colbert, 56, asked Obama, 59, how the country star does not have a Presidential Medal of Freedom after all of her humanitarian work. Most recently, the "9 to 5" singer, 74, donated $1 million to scientists working to develop a COVID-19 vaccine.
"That's a mistake - I'm shocked," Obama replied. "That was a screw up. I'm surprised. I think I assumed that she had already got one, and that was incorrect."
But, maybe his Vice President and now President-Elect Joe Biden can remedy the situation when he takes office in January.
If there is one word that can be used to describe Parton's philanthropy however, this would be "silent." She's never a help and tell person. She rarely says what she does for various communities and groups, unless necessary. For example, in 1995, she founded the Imagination Library right in her home of Tennessee. The program is designed to aid in the literacy movement by providing kids up to 5 years old, free books.
The Imagination Library has now expanded to cover five countries. According to the official website of the project, it is now donating 1 million books within a year, which is a sign of its success.
Even though Obama never recognized her efforts, Parton never made a big deal out it. This is because another characteristic of Patton's philanthropy is that it is never about getting praises and recognition. The support and love of those whom she cares about is what matters more. For instance, for this Imagination Library project, her father praised her no bounds, claiming it is "the most important thing" she had ever done. Parton details this on her book, "Letter from Dolly."
I can't tell you how much that meant to me because I created the Imagination Library as a tribute to my Daddy," Parton further wrote. "He was the smartest man I have ever known but I know in my heart his inability to read probably kept him from fulfilling all of his dreams."
The singer and philanthropist has amassed so much wealth that not only can she help so many, she can even her own theme park.
But the philanthropist, actress and singer-songwriter was not born with a silver spoon. Instead, she grew up, as she puts it, "dirt poor" in a one-room cabin located in the mountains of East Tennessee.
At the rate she is going right now, it is possible that she would do more in terms of philanthropy and helping. Even if the year is beset with a pandemic, Parton shared she has been doing so much more.
Speaking with PBS, she said, "I have to say that I'm a lot busier now than I was when I first started, because I was just trying to get things going. Now, I think energy begets energy." She added, "And I just love being creative and getting to do things for other people, and especially working during a time like this, when everybody's being kind of shut down from their normal life."