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MacKenzie Scott, ex-wife of Jeff Bezos, donates $10M to United Way of Greater Knoxville

MacKenzie Scott, the ex-wife of Jeff Bezos, donated to 384 organizations including several Tennessee charities like YWCA Knoxville and the Tennessee Valley, Second Harvest Food Bank, United Way of Greater Knoxville, and Goodwill Industries-Knoxville, Inc.
Published: Dec. 15, 2020 at 7:51 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 16, 2020 at 12:44 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - MacKenzie Scott, the ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, announced Tuesday she donated to 384 organizations, including a handful of East Tennessee charities, as part of a plan to donate her fortune.

The United Way of Greater Knoxville announced Scott donated $10 million to the organization that will be used to “initiate high impact work that will address some of the biggest problems faced by the Knoxville community.”

“This is a remarkable gift which presents us with an unprecedented opportunity to make a transformational difference in our community,” said United Way of Greater Knoxville President and CEO, Matt Ryerson. “We are profoundly grateful to MacKenzie Scott for this donation, and for the confidence, it demonstrates in our ability to achieve real and sustainable change in the Greater Knoxville area. We’re looking forward to engaging with community stakeholders over the coming weeks and months to develop plans that ensure these funds have the biggest and most enduring impact in the region.”

Scott said she also donated to Second Harvest Food Bank and YWCA Knoxville and the Tennessee Valley. Goodwill Industries-Knoxville, Inc. also received money from the ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

“I asked a team of advisors to help me accelerate my 2020 giving through immediate support to people suffering the economic effects of the crisis. They took a data-driven approach to identifying organizations with strong leadership teams and results, with special attention to those operating in communities facing high projected food insecurity, high measures of racial inequity, high local poverty rates, and low access to philanthropic capital,” said Scott in a post.

Scott says she donated $4,158,500,000 in gifts to 384 organizations across all 50 states. Scott says her team sought suggestions and perspectives from hundreds of field experts, funders and non-profit leaders with decades of experience to choose the organizations.

One of the organizations includes YWCA Knoxville and the Tennessee Valley.

“What an incredible afternoon it has been! Thank you to philanthropist and author MacKenzie Scott for believing in the mission of YWCA, especially here in the Tennessee Valley,” said YWCA in a Facebook post.

What an incredible afternoon it has been! Thank you to philanthropist and author MacKenzie Scott for believing in the...

Posted by YWCA Knoxville & the Tennessee Valley on Tuesday, December 15, 2020

For more information on the organizations, Scott donated to visit the website here.

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