By CATHERINE THORBECKE, ABC News
(NEW YORK) — Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott said she donated more than $4.1 billion over the past four months to organizations helping Americans survive the COVID-19 pandemic and its ensuing economic crisis.
“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,” Scott wrote in a Medium post on Tuesday. “Meanwhile, it has substantially increased the wealth of billionaires.”
Scott, who was formerly married to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, became one of the richest women in the world after her divorce in 2019.
The same year of her divorce, Scott signed the Giving Pledge, promising to give away a majority of her wealth.
Scott said her advisers took a “data-driven approach” to identifying organizations that would have high impact in their communities. All told, she said that over the last four months $4,158,500,000 was given to 384 organizations across all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Washington D.C.
“Some are filling basic needs: food banks, emergency relief funds, and support services for those most vulnerable,” Scott wrote. “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.”
Scott listed some of the hundreds of organizations she donated to in her Medium post, encouraging others to also support them. They include local offshoots of Meals on Wheels, Goodwill and many more.
The announcement comes on the heels of Scott saying in July that she had given away $1.6 billion of her wealth.
Scott is currently the 18th richest person in the world, according to Bloomberg’s real-time Billionaires Index, with a net worth of more than $60 billion. Her wealth, mostly tied up with Amazon, has skyrocketed by more than $23 billion since the beginning of the year.
Scott’s ex-husband, Bezos, currently tops the list of the world’s wealthiest people, with a net worth of $185 billion. The Amazon CEO’s wealth has grown by more than $70 billion since the start of the year, according to Bloomberg data, as the pandemic has led to surging demand for delivery.
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