ATLANTA — Several metro Atlanta charities and universities got the surprise of a lifetime when philanthropist Mackenzie Scott donated millions to the different organizations across the country and right here in Georgia.
Scott is an author and the ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.
Meals on Wheels Atlanta and Clark Atlanta University both told Channel 2′s Audrey Washington that the gift from Scott is the largest donation they’ve ever seen.
Meals on Wheels executive director Charlene Crusoe-Ingram told Washington that the donation will help feed thousands of senior citizens.
She said there are over 350 seniors on a waitlist right now. But thanks to the donation, those seniors will get some much-needed help.
Crusoe-Ingram said her organization has struggled during the COVID-19 pandemic but then came news of the massive gift from Scott.
“We’re going to plan, fully manage this gift while still absolutely needing all of the supporters who have supported us through the years,” Crusoe-Ingram said. “We’re overwhelmed and in disbelief, actually.”
Crusoe-Ingram did not disclose the amount the organization received but did say it’s the largest gift they’ve ever received.
Dr. George French is the president of Clark Atlanta University. He said the university received $15 million from Scott.
“I was simply ecstatic when I thought about how much this gift would transform Clark Atlanta University and assist our students,” French said.
A few months ago, Washington reported on how a program named HBCU Change, which was helping to collect money for students dealing with financial hardships at historically Black colleges and universities.
According to French, “72% of Clark Atlanta University students are on scholarship or receive financial aid.”
French said the money will be used to help students.
“It looks like we’ll be back on ground with limited capacity the first week of February, and we will begin distributing those funds to students at that time,” French said.
As for Meals on Wheel, Crusoe-Ingram said she’ll get right to work, making sure the sizable donation is used to feed and assist the people who need it the most.
“We deliver our seniors all their meals on a Saturday. Volunteers do that,” Crusoe-Ingram said.
Several other organizations in metro Atlanta received donations from Scott as well, including Goodwill of North Georgia.
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