(Left) Shania Kids Can / Facebook / (Top Right) Dolly Parton's Imagination Library / Facebook / (Bottom Right) Miranda Lambert / Facebook
Many country music stars share their blessings with those who are less fortunate. Dozens of country singers make private and public donations, especially during times of disaster or tragedy.
Some country stars have established their own charities or charitable efforts to support causes close to their hearts. This list includes 14 artists and the charities they founded. This way, you can learn more about the organizations and why they mean so much to these artists.
Of course, this is just the beginning. There are many other singers who established their own charities, so this is not the full list of organizations out there.
Carrie Underwood established the C.A.T.S. Foundation in 2009. The organization benefits Underwood’s hometown of Checotah, Oklahoma. It stands for the Checotah Animal, Town, and School Foundation.
Funds raised through C.A.T.S. assist “with causes, fulfilling needs, and providing services to the [Checotah] community and surrounding area.” The organization helps provide musical instruments and playground equipment to area schools. It also supports animal welfare, with emphasis “on the importance of spay[ing] and neutering.”
Learn more about C.A.T.S. here.
Miranda Lambert and her mother, Bev, founded the MuttNation Foundation in 2009. Since its inception, the organization has raised over $9 million to support its mission. That mission is:
“…to promote the adoption of shelter pets, advance spay & neuter; and educate the public about the benefits of these actions. MuttNation also works with transport partners to assist and relocate animals during times of natural disaster.”
Lambert also has a line of pet toys and supplies at Tractor Supply Company (TSC) called MuttNation Fueled by Miranda Lambert. These products benefit the MuttNation Foundation.
Learn more about Lambert’s organization here.
The late Jimmy Buffett was devoted to philanthropy. He founded two charities, one of them being Singing for Change. Its mission is to provide funds to “organizations that inspire personal growth, community integration and the enhanced awareness that collectively, people can bring about positive social change.”
Buffett’s apparel company, Last Mango Boatworks, benefits Singing for Change, among dozens of other organizations.
Additionally, Buffett co-founded the Save the Manatee Club with U.S. Senator and former Governor of Florida, Bob Graham. Save the Manatee Club “help[s] protect manatees by aiding in the recovery and protection of manatees and their aquatic ecosystems throughout the world.”
You can learn more about all of Buffett’s philanthropic efforts here.
Brad Paisley and his wife, actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley, opened The Store in Nashville in 2020.
Its website states, “The Store operates as a year-round free grocery store allowing people to shop for their basic needs.There is no charge to those referred or to the people and agencies that send them. They may shop for food to supplement their income during times of crisis and as they work toward self-sufficiency.”
Learn more about The Store and its mission here.
Garth Brooks co-founded the organization Teammates for Kids in 1999. He’s quoted on the website as saying it “is the most important thing [he’s] ever done.”
Teammates for Kids works “with professional athletes, corporations, foundations, celebrities and individual teammates, [to] help children in the areas of health, education and inner city.” One of the ways Teammates for Kids accomplishes this mission is through “Child Life Zones,” which are described as such:
“A Child Life Zone is a state-of-the-art, therapeutic play area inside a hospital where pediatric patients and their families can play, learn, laugh, and relax.”
Learn more about Teammates for Kids here.
Luke Bryan’s Farm Tour is not a charitable organization. But the tour does fund scholarships for students from farming families in each community Bryan visits on the trek.
Bryan embarked on his 14th Farm Tour in 2023. According to a press release on his website, his Farm Tour has granted 83 scholarships to date.
Learn more about Bryan’s 2023 Farm Tour (which has concluded) here.
The late country music icon Charlie Daniels co-founded The Journey Home Project in 2014, six years before his death. His widow, Hazel, is now one of the board members.
The organization “assists other not-for-profits in securing funds to help causes that benefit veterans of the United States Armed Forces.” Its mission is:
“…to help identify, support and implement the various needs of the men and women of America’s armed forces returning from service.”
You can learn more about The Journey Home project here.
Toby Keith established his namesake foundation in 2006 “to encourage the health and happiness of pediatric cancer patients.” The foundation’s main focus is the OK Kids Korral, a cost-free place for pediatric cancer patients and their families to live while the child receives treatments.
The OK Kids Korral opened in 2014. Since then, it has served as home-away-from-home for families from 70 of Oklahoma’s 77 counties, as well as Kansas, Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, Georgia, Arizona, and countries overseas.
Learn more about The Toby Keith Foundation and OK Kids Korral here.
Reba McEntire opened the doors to Reba’s Ranch House in 1992. The House serves as a temporary home to families traveling to be with their loved ones receiving medical care in the Denison, Texas area.
McEntire, who is from Southeastern Oklahoma, often traveled to Denison for her own medical visits. McEntire said the Reba’s Ranch House is:
“…a place for those folks to get a good night’s sleep, a home cooked meal and a very compassionate ear to listen to their worries and concerns.”
The House is open 24/7, every day of the year. Learn more about it here.
Former Voice star RaeLynn established The RaeLynn Diabetes Fund in 2016 in collaboration with The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee. RaeLynn herself was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when she was only 12 years old.
After learning how to manage her diabetes, RaeLynn was inspired to create a fund to help others with the disease. Her fund’s mission is to provide support to those with Type 1, Type 2, and juvenile diabetes.
Learn more about RaeLynn’s Diabetes Fund here.
Emmylou Harris founded Bonaparte’s Retreat in 2004. The organization is named after one of her beloved dogs, who traveled with her on tour for ten years.
“To honor the memory of her dear companion, Harris established Bonaparte’s Retreat with the goal of rescuing shelter dogs and adopting them into forever homes. To this day, Bonaparte’s Retreat continues to save dogs most in need at Metro Nashville Animal Care and Control and at municipal shelters in surrounding counties.”
Bonaparte’s Retreat especially focuses on helping senior dogs, large dogs, and dogs in need of medical care or surgery. Learn more about the organization here.
Shania Twain founded her Shania Kids Can charity in 2010. Its mission is to”relieve the economic, social and personal sufferings of children that she herself experienced as a child.”
The organization works through elementary schools across North America, and provides programs that offer support and stability to children. Learn more about Shania Kids Can and its work here.
In 1985, Willie Nelson, Neil Young, and John Mellencamp hosted the first Farm Aid concert. The purpose of that concert was “to raise awareness about the loss of family farms and to raise funds to keep farm families on the land.”
Farm Aid lives on through its annual benefit concert. To date, Farm Aid has raised over $78 million. Its mission “is to build a vibrant, family farm-centered system of agriculture in America.”
Learn all about Farm Aid here.
Dolly Parton launched her Imagination Library program in 1995. The Imagination Library provides “free, high-quality books to children from birth to age five, no matter their family’s income.”
The program originally started in Sevier County, Tennessee, where Parton grew up. It eventually expanded nationwide, and now also provides books to children in Canada, the UK, Australia, and the Republic of Ireland.
In its nearly 30-year history, the Imagination Library has gifted over 200 million books to children around the world. Learn more about the organization here and in the video below.
Hats off to all of these country artists for making a huge difference through their respective charities!