Thanks to $7,500 from the Young Professionals Group of Flagler County, $5,000 from Habitat for Humanity, as well as many other members of the community, a total of $30,000 was raised in the past few months to support the Dolly Parton Imagination Library.
An oversized check was prepared to culminate the fundraising at a Kentucky Derby-themed fundraising event on May 7.
The DPIL, a national program brought to Flagler County by J.B. Birney Sr. and Leadership Flagler, provides an age-appropriate book each month for the first five years of life to children who sign up. Chelsea Herbert Barney, president of YPG, expressed her feelings about the program in a post on Facebook:
“I grew up in a house with a family that encouraged me, supported me and loved me...with parents who made education a priority and pushed us (hard) to be better people everyday. I'm forever grateful for them. The harsh reality is that not every baby is born into a family full of love, support and encouragement. So as a community it's our responsibility to make these kids feel loved, supported and encouraged...to create productive, educated adults who contribute to our society.
"The Dolly Parton Imagination Library does that and we are blessed to benefit from it. The Imagination Library is funded solely by private community donations and unfortunately has struggled financially over the last year.
"But, with grateful hearts and teary eyes the Young Professionals Group of Flagler County was proud to present $30,000 to save this program with the help from our kind, generous and dedicated community. We could not do this great work without all of your help (and money). It's such an honor to be apart of this organization and this community, thank you all so much!”
To learn more about the program, visit usa.imaginationlibrary.com.