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Mackenzie Scott, ex-wife of Jeff Bezos, has given a staggering $84.5 million to Girl Scouts of the USA.
The massive donation is the biggest one the organization has gotten from one person since they were established over one hundred years ago in 1912.
Scott divorced Amazon executive chairman and founder Jeff Bezos in 2019, bringing her worth to $31.6 billion. She also has a 4% share of Amazon, which has made her one of the richest women on the planet.
The Girl Scouts has been struggling since the COVID pandemic, which resulted in fewer members. The group will reportedly use the money to help volunteers and employees, as well as make camp locations more durable against weather events, and enhance the science and technology schooling for its younger scouts. It also wants to incorporate diversity and inclusion efforts, according to NPR.
Young members in the organization dropped around 30% in 2019-2020 to 2021-2022.
“Our traditional way of supporting girls was really upended during the pandemic as troops couldn’t really meet in person,” Sofia Chang, CEO of Girls Scouts of the USA, reportedly said. “So to build back stronger than we ever had before, we’re really listening to our Girl Scouts, listening to their families and to our volunteers to really ensure that what comes next for us is truly impactful in this moment.”
Chang also said that Scott’s “support of our organization means honestly just as much as the donation.”
“We are so appreciative,” Chang noted in a statement received 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.”
Southern Arizona’s Girl Scout council will use the money it was given — $1.4 million — to lift up the initiatives it is already taking part in, according to the group’s CEO Kristen Garcia-Hernandez.
“We are a small council and we’re certainly not in a major metropolitan hub. So for us, gifts of this magnitude don’t come around very often,” Garcia-Hernandez said.
In 2019, Scott said she wanted to donate most of her money. She has given around $12 billion to organizations since then, including a massive donation of $275 million to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and its regional partners.
Scott said in an announcement at the time that the main focus of her giving is to support “underrepresented people from groups of all kinds,” adding, “[t]he cause of equity has no sides. Nor can it have a single solution.”
“We are all human. And we all have enormous energy to devote to helping and protecting those we love,” she said.