Legendary entertainer Dolly Parton and Girl Scouts of Tanasi Council are launching a global "Coat of Many Colors" patch program. It's based on Parton's popular ballad about taking pride in yourself--no matter the circumstances.
"Have you ever felt bad about being different?" Parton asks Girl Scouts. "I'll bet you have, but you shouldn't--being different is what makes you special!"
Parton immortalized her coat of many colors in her 1971 song of the same name. Parton's mother sewed the now famous garment from rags. Young Dolly proudly wore the coat to school, only to find classmates making fun of it.
Parton turned the devastating experience into a signature song; now, through Tanasi Council, the "Coat of Many Colors" is a patch program helping Girl Scouts develop self-esteem and compassion for others.
The first 450 girls who earned the patch were from Parton's native East Tennessee, and she honored them at her Dollywood theme park Saturday, June 13 with colorful patches and huge hugs. She also performed the legendary song, weaving a strong connection with an audience a generation apart in age, but strongly united in spirit.
Parton became a lifetime member of Girl Scouts in 2007 and wore her own Girl Scout uniform, complete with patches representing her own lifetime of accomplishments, for the celebration.
"Now, I think twice before saying something to someone who looks or seems different; I don't want to hurt their feelings," says Girl Scout Melia Killion. "Plus, you can be rich without having a lot of money, as long as you have people who love you ... And I am rich!"
The Coat of Many Colors patch is now available to all councils. Please note, however, that the patch is on order and it will be approximately 4-6 weeks before the patch is actually in their store. The cost is $1.50 per patch.