MacKenzie Scott, World’s Richest Woman, Gives Away $4.2 Billion In Four Months
MacKenzie Scott, the wealthiest woman on the planet, has given away $4.2 billion to good causes over the past four months.
The 50-year-old novelist and philanthropist, who was previously married to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, is making good on the promises she made by signing The Giving Pledge last year. This is a non-profit organisation whereby affluent individuals pledge to donate at least half of their fortune over the course of their lifetime.
This recent series of donations will support 384 organizations across all 50 US states, Puerto Rico, and Washington D.C., during a time when many Americans are struggling financially in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
As per a blog post by Scott, some of these financial gifts have gone towards supporting food banks, emergency relief funds and support services for vulnerable people.
Others have gone towards addressing long-term systemic inequities which have been exacerbated by the crisis, including debt relief, employment training and credit and financial services for under-resourced communities.
Other areas of focus included education for historically marginalized and underserved people, civil rights advocacy groups and legal defense funds for those taking on institutional discrimination.
The organisations selected by Scott include the Chicago Community Loan Fund, the Harvest Regional Food Bank, the Greater Minnesota Housing Fund and the Self-Help Ventures Fund.
This pandemic has been a wrecking ball in the lives of Americans already struggling. Economic losses and health outcomes alike have been worse for women, for people of color, and for people living in poverty. Meanwhile, it has substantially increased the wealth of billionaires.
It would be easy for all the people who drew the long demographic straws in this crisis to hole up at home feeling a mix of gratitude and guilt, and wait for it to be over — but that’s not what’s happening.
The proliferation of community fridges, COVID relief funds, impromptu person-to-person Venmo gifts, viral debt relief campaigns, and mutual aid initiatives has been swift and uplifting.
In March, a 19-year-old girl in Chicago sent a group text to her friends suggesting they buy supplies for people in their neighborhood who had lost their jobs.
She posted two Google forms — one for people who needed help and another for people with help to give — and by two days later they’d raised $7,000. ‘We’re really excited,’ she said. Me too.
Scott concluded her blog post by encouraging readers to make a donation of their own to one of the listed organisations, remarking:
Every one of them could benefit from more resources to share with the communities they’re serving. And the hope you feed with your gift is likely to feed your own.
You can find out more about Scott’s generous philanthropic efforts here.
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