MacKenzie Scott, the novelist and philanthropist who helped ex-husband Jeff Bezos found Amazon, has donated $281 million to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. It is the largest donation ever given to the organization by any individual in its long history.
Founded 160 years ago, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America has more than 4,700 locations in communities across the country. The organization creates life-enhancing opportunities for kids and teens by providing safe places, mentors and skill-building after school and during the summer.
“Gifts like this are rare and have incredible impact. It’s a historic moment for our organization and the Clubs that received MacKenzie Scott’s significant support,” Jim Clark, president and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of America, said in a press release. “We know now, more than ever, that with the right support system, positive mentorship and opportunities, kids can thrive. Thanks to this generous gift, Boys & Girls Clubs can continue to reach even more youth, as we guide millions of kids and teens on their journeys to great futures.”
According to Forbes, Scott, who in 2019 married a Seattle-area teacher, has donated nearly $8.6 billion to more than 780 organizations since her divorce from Bezos, earlier in 2019. For his part, Bezos had reportedly donated more than $13 billion to various charities as of 2021, which included gifts made while the pair were still married.
Just weeks ago, Scott donated $133.5 million to Communities in Schools, an educational nonprofit that provides resources like food and housing to 3,000 schools so students can focus on academics. The donation was the largest unsolicited donation in the nonprofit’s history.
“Today is an important day for students who are underserved, under-resourced, and in need of transformative support to build a brighter future,” Rey Saldaña, president and CEO of Communities In Schools, said in a press release in February. “This unrestricted gift allows us to combat the inequities in public education and reimagine the way schools operate and show up for all students.
It’s safe to say we can expect more donations from Scott in the future, as she and her husband, Dan Jewett, have signed the Giving Pledge. Founded by Warren Buffet, Melinda French Gates and Bill Gates, the Giving Pledge is a commitment by the world’s wealthiest people to give away a majority of their money to charitable organizations.