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United Way of Southwest Louisiana receives $5 million donation from MacKenzie Scott

Jeff Bezos, MacKenzie Bezos
Posted at 12:47 PM, Dec 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-16 13:47:12-05

The United Way of Southwest Louisiana has received a $5 million donation from author and philantropist MacKenzie Scott.

According to the Associated Press, Scott said Tuesday that she would be donating a total of $4.1 billion to 384 organizations across the country as part of a giving pledge she announced last year.

A team of advisers reportedly helped Scott to identify organizations in communities with high food insecurity, racial inequality and other factors and that were hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“These 384 carefully selected teams have dedicated their lives to helping others, working and volunteering and serving real people face-to-face at bedsides and tables, in prisons and courtrooms and classrooms, on streets and hospital wards and hotlines and frontlines of all types and sizes, day after day after day," said Scott

The United Way of Southwest Louisiana says the donation is the single largest gift in the organizations 80-year history.

“It is an honor that Ms. Scott and her experienced team of advisers recognized the reach and efficiency of our work in Southwest Louisiana. This donation is not only a credit to our mission, organization and the community members who support us, but also our proven success," said Denise Durel, United Way of Southwest Louisiana, president and CEO.

While the five-parish region has been hit exceptionally hard this year between the economic and health crises of COVID-19 and Hurricanes Laura and Delta, Durel said the gift will be used to ensure the region’s future success with long-term rebuilding plans that create lasting impact.

“Our roots run deep and we are dedicated to ensuring that these funds pave the way for a truly sustainable future for generations to come," Durel said.

In addition to United Way of Southwest Louisiana, Scott has donated to two other United Ways in Louisiana.

To learn more about MacKenzie Scott’s donations visit

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