No time to get them in the mail? Give the postage to Dolly.
Dolly Parton
Singer-songwriter Dolly Parton performs in concert during her 'Pure & Simple Tour' at the Frank Erwin Center on December 6, 2016, in Austin, Texas.
| Credit: Suzanne Cordeiro / Getty Images

We feel your pain. What with multiple family Christmas gatherings, the office party, the church program and fellowship, the neighborhood cookie swap, the shopping, the giftwrapping, the decorating—you meant to mail all those Christmas cards. You really, really did. But time got away from you and now you're staring at the stack of holiday greetings that friends and family took the time to mail you, and you're feeling a big wave of Christmas card guilt. Not to worry. We've got the cure.

Take the money you would've spent on postage and donate it to Dolly Parton's My People Fund to help families in Gatlinburg and Sevier County, Tennessee, rebuild their lives. You'll be doing a world of good for people who need a big lift this Christmas. And you'll feel a whole lot better. (Just tell your loved ones that Dolly needed you this year, and they'll completely understand.)

We got this big idea from a small church in Harpersville, Alabama, where one of our staff members grew up. Each year at Christmastime, the whole church family participates in a fundraiser to aid missionaries abroad. As part of that effort, the congregation decided to build a tabletop post office, which is placed in the church vestibule in December. Church members exchange postage-free Christmas cards at this mini P.O. and donate the money they save to the fundraiser.

Southern Living was inspired by that notion and thought we might reach out to you to take it to a whole new level. The needs of Sevier County will be ongoing. While the town of Gatlinburg has reopened, hundreds of homes need to be rebuilt, and that takes time. Meanwhile, these families need a place to live. They need food on the table, clothes to wear, school supplies, kitchen supplies, Christmas presents—the list is long, and it's long-lasting. Think of your first apartment, when you were starting with a blank slate—no bath towels, no coffee maker, no furniture, no washing machine . . . Everything you needed to set up housekeeping had to be purchased. That's where these families are right now.

Ministries and officials in Gatlinburg tell us that the best way to help is to donate money to a reputable fund. They don't have space to store large shipments of material goods, so it's better to help fund local agencies that can meet specific community needs as they arise.

Your Christmas postage might not seem like much, but if we all pool our pennies, they'll add up to big bucks for Dolly's fund. Next year, we'll all start addressing our Christmas cards in August so we'll never be in this position again. (No, really. We mean it this time.) But for now, we need another option—tere's no way that 150-name Christmas card list is getting checked off our to-do list this time around, right?

It takes just a minute or two to give online and (and download a tax receipt) at the Dollywood Foundation/My Fund website. Or you can mail a tax-deductible donation:

The Dollywood Foundation
My People Fund
111 Dollywood Lane
Pigeon Forge, TN 37863

(Please write "My People Fund" on the memo line and include a return address so that the Dollywood Foundation can mail you a receipt.)