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MacKenzie Scott donates $25 million to United Way of Central Indiana

The author, who is the ex-wife of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, gave the organization its largest donation in a 102-year history.
Credit: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP
FILE - In this March 4, 2018 file photo, then-MacKenzie Bezos arrives at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party in Beverly Hills, Calif. A donation from author and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott to Virginia State University has become the largest single donor gift in the historically Black college’s history. The $30 million donation by Scott was announced Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020, in a post that detailed the nearly $4.2 billion in gifts given to nonprofit organizations by the philanthropist in 2020. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

INDIANAPOLIS — United Way of Central Indiana has received the largest donation in its history — a $25 million gift from MacKenzie Scott, the ex-wife of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

The organization said the generous donation will benefit ongoing work to improve the education, health and financial stability of central Indiana residents, meet their basic needs and advance equity and opportunity in the six counties the organization serves.

In December, Scott announced she had donated more than $4 billion to charities since July. United Way of Central Indiana was one of 384 organizations that received a gift from her.

RELATED: MacKenzie Scott, ex-wife of Jeff Bezos, says she gave $4.2 billion to charity since July

"United Way of Central Indiana is truly honored to be among the 384 organizations chosen to receive a gift. With so many in our community reeling from the health and economic effects of the pandemic, recovery will not come overnight," said Ann Murtlow, president and CEO, United Way of Central Indiana.

Scott used a team to help her identify 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."

A total of four Indiana organizations received donations from Scott:

  • Meals on Wheels of Northwest Indiana
  • United Way of Central Indiana
  • YMCA of Greater Indianapolis
  • YWCA North Central Indiana

United Way plans to work with community partners over the next three to five years to determine the best way to put the donation to use. There will be a focus on structural barriers that stand in the way of equity for all individuals.

RELATED: Forbes 400: Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates remain richest in America

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