Amazon Billionaire Gives ‘Transformational’ Gifts To Disability Nonprofits
Multiple nonprofits serving people with disabilities are receiving an unprecedented and unexpected influx of cash as part of a massive wave of donations from the billionaire ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.
Easterseals and 22 of its affiliates across the nation said it received $162 million from MacKenzie Scott. Meanwhile, Goodwill Industries International said it received $20 million and additional funds were given to 46 of its affiliates.
The contributions represent the largest either of the groups have ever received. Both of the nonprofits are over 100 years old.
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The money is part of a blitz of donations from Scott who announced in December that she gave over $4.1 billion to 384 organizations across the nation in the preceding four months.
Scott signed the Giving Pledge in 2019, a commitment to give the majority of her wealth to charity.
In a posting on Medium, the philanthropist cited the pandemic, which she described as a “wrecking ball in the lives of Americans already struggling,” and said that she “asked a team of advisors to help me accelerate my 2020 giving through immediate support to people suffering the economic effects of the crisis.”
Some of the organizations chosen are meeting basic needs by providing food and emergency relief, Scott said.
“Others are addressing long-term systemic inequities that have been deepened by the crisis: debt relief, employment training, credit and financial services for under-resourced communities, education for historically marginalized and underserved people, civil rights advocacy groups, and legal defense funds that take on institutional discrimination,” she wrote.
Scott indicated that all of the donations are “unsolicited and unexpected gifts given with full trust and no strings attached.”
Angela Williams, president and CEO of Easterseals described the funding as “transformational.”
“These funds will allow us to grow our network and expand our services to meet the increasing needs of children and adults with disabilities so they can fully participate in their communities and in society,” Williams said.