MacKenzie Scott Makes History with $84.5 Million Donation to Girl Scouts amid Divorce

MacKenzie Scott just made a record-breaking donation to Girl Scouts of the USA and 29 of its local branches.

via People:

On Tuesday, GSUSA announced that the billionaire had given a generous $84.5 million, the largest donation from a single individual in the the organization’s history. The news came weeks after the 52-year-old filed for divorce from her husband, Seattle school teacher Dan Jewett.

“We are so appreciative,” GSUSA CEO Sofia Chang said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE. “This is a great accelerator for our ongoing efforts to help girls cultivate the skills and connections to lead in their own communities and globally.”

“The support from all our donors, including this generous support from MacKenzie, is critical in delivering on our work of reimagination and transformation,” added Chang. “We’re excited to prove how MacKenzie’s investment in girls will change the world — because when one girl succeeds, we all succeed.”

One of the local chapters that was selected by Scott was the Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council, which received a $4.2 million donation.

The Texas-based chapter said the gift will aid in funding new programs and as well as their continued efforts to recover from the pandemic.

“We are truly humbled and grateful for this generous gift and for MacKenzie Scott’s trust in our mission,” GSSJC CEO Mary Vitek said in a statement. “This gift not only emphasizes the importance of supporting the next generation of female leaders, but it also acknowledges the work of our volunteers and support of our local donors and community. It ensures we can advance our efforts to provide girls with meaningful experiences and equitable access to our leadership development program so they are empowered and equipped to lead.”

Speaking with the Associated Press, Chang said that the national organization was “really upended during the pandemic” but that they’re working to “build back stronger than we ever had before.”

“Her support of our organization means honestly just as much as the donation,” Chang added of Scott.

Scott, who was previously married to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, filed a petition for divorce from Jewett in Washington State’s King County Superior Court last month, the New York Times previously reported. The split came just over a year after Scott and Jewett tied the knot.

The terms of the separation have not been made public, but the Times previously noted that Jewett did not contest the divorce.

The billionaire is one of the wealthiest women in the world and as of Tuesday is ranked No. 41 on the Bloomberg Billionaire’s Index, with a net worth of $27.6 billion.

Since her divorce from Bezos, with whom she shares four children, Scott has made many generous donations and pledged to give away vast amounts of her wealth.

In September, prior to filing for divorce, she gifted her Beverly Hills estate, worth $55 million, to support the nonprofit California Community Foundation and their affordable housing grantmaking and immigrant integration program. Earlier this year, Scott also donated $436 million to Habitat for Humanity.

Previously, the philanthropist donated $2.7 billion to 286 underfunded organizations that fight against wealth inequality. And in December 2020, Scott and a “team of advisors” donated $4.2 billion to organizations across the country that helped with relief during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We bet whoever’s in charge of overseeing that $84.5 million sure is happy!

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