MacKenzie Scott, philanthropist and author, formerly married to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, has given over $4 billion to 383 organizations across the country in the last four months, including two Austin charities.
Meals on Wheels Central Texas received $8 million and The Young Women's Christian Association of Greater Austin, or YWCA, received $1 million as part of her philanthropic effort to give to organizations during the pandemic.
Scott announced the news of her major charitable contribution in a Medium post on Tuesday, stating that the pandemic has been tearing down already struggling Americans, but felt inspiration from the generosity of random acts of kindness of Americans.
Earlier this year, Scott shared another Medium post recalling her pledge to give majority of her wealth back to the society which helped her achieve it. Since then, Scott's actions have proven to be generous and thoughtful, stating "the thought of what will come if each of us reflects on what we can offer" fills her with hope.
Inspired by the work of these teams and so many others this year: https://t.co/TlMe3wP4UQ— MacKenzie Scott (@MacKenzie Scott)1608052341.0
"This pandemic has been a wrecking ball in the lives of Americans already struggling," Scott wrote. "Economic losses and health outcomes alike have been worse for women, for people of color, and for people living in poverty. Meanwhile, it has substantially increased the wealth of billionaires.
Scott, who is the 18th richest person in the world and was listed in Forbes 100 most powerful women in the world, noted all organizations "could benefit from more resources."
In 2020, Scott worked with a team of advisors who helped her select the organizations based on different suggestions from hundreds of field experts, funders and non-profit leaders and volunteers. Scott said her team considered over 6,000 organizations and deeply researched 822, taking extra time to evaluate every single one.
"Because our research is data-driven and rigorous, our giving process can be human and soft," Scott wrote.
In the end, 384 organizations were chosen and 438 were put on hold for further inquiry and analysis.
Meals on Wheels Central Texas focuses on the distribution of meals throughout the region to homebound older adults and people with disabilities. The non-profit has been in the Austin area since 1972 and continues to provide aid to people who seek and need help.
Meals on Wheels Central Texas CEO and President Adam Hauser said the organization is "deeply thankful for the trust she has shown (the) agency."
YWCA of Greater Austin advocates on behalf of racial justice and civil rights, empowerment and economic advancement and health and safety of women and girls.
YWCA plans on using Scott's donation to enhance the help and work on the YMCA Austin's Counseling and Referral Center, Care Coordination Program and Volunteer and Training Institute, according to KXAN.
Since 2019, Scott, along with America's wealthiest people, contributed to the Giving Pledge, a movement founded by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett. The movement inspires philanthropists to commit to giving a majority of their wealth back to society in charitable ways. In her post, Scott wrote she is far from completing her pledge.
"If you're craving a way to use your time, voice or money to help others at the end of this difficult year, I highly recommend a gift to one of the thousands of organizations doing remarkable work all across the country," Scott wrote. "The hope you feed with your gift is likely to feed your own."
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Austin FC couldn't find the stamina to fight off a 2-0 loss against LAFC for their inaugural match on Saturday.
The match, which saw No. 21 Austin FC go head-to-head with No. 2 LAFC in Los Angeles, was broadcast nationally on FOX and FOX Deportes.
Salute the support. 👏
It's only the beginning for @AustinFC. pic.twitter.com/TduorqYr2y
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) April 18, 2021
Eleven players took the stage as Austin FC players for the first time, with five starters making their MLS debut. "Ringleader" Alex Ring took the captain's armband and wore it well. The defensive midfielder could be seen leading his teammates through their first ever match, but it wasn't enough to stage an Austin takeover in LA.
In the signature style of Head Coach Josh Wolff, the team played with quickness and intensity, nearly connecting on several fast breaks. It was harder for them to stay in front, however, something that Wolff credits with quick decision making and a tough LAFC defense.
"We have a quick attacking team, but I think when you make quick attacks and it fizzles it's just about some decision making," Wolff said. "Are we in position to finish attacks? If not, can we reestablish our attack and get stuff better?"
The club was given some generous breaks from No. 2 LAFC, who had one or both of their star DPs out for the half. While forward Diego Rossi is out for the entire match due to a hamstring injury, Carlos Vela was accidentally pulled too soon on what turned out to be a miscommunication.
"He gave us the sign that he needed to come off," LAFC Head Coach Bob Bradley said on broadcast. "I can't say more than maybe it's my fault."
LA pulled some dramatics and slowly gained more possession throughout the half, but ATXFC's defense wasn't initially as shaky as it seemed in preseason. Jhohan Romana has pulled his weight in getting the ball out of goal, and a 34-year old Matt Besler held his own in center back.
As the second half commenced, however, it became clear that LAFC had the advantage over Austin's first major league team.
Goalkeeper Brad Stuver had his work cut out for him, fending off 24 shot attempts, 11 of which were on goal. He didn't have much time to prepare, either: in the first 30 seconds of play, Stuver had already made a save to keep the match 0-0.
LAFC finally connected in the 61st minute of play as Corey Baird shot one into the bottom right corner. The team capitalized off their momentum and put one past Stuver a second time, drawing roars of approval from the LAFC crowd.
While some last-minute attempts from Jon Gallagher and others were made, Austin FC didn't have the endurance to bring a tie. After seven additional minutes of stoppage time, the club lost their first match 2-0.
While the scoreboard tells one story, Wolff said that the team did well considering the skill of LAFC and the pressure of their club debut.
"We've got to be realistic," Wolff said. "This is the first time this organization has been in front of TV with an opportunity to show itself and I think there were some promising moments. And we're going to maximize those and continue to try to develop those, but there's lots to build on."
The team may have lost, but it still won the support of thousands of Verde fans, dozens of which made it to watch their team's first match. When Stuver and the team made it to bthe stadium, Los Verdes fans were already there to show support, and Stuver said his wife saw the same back in Austin.
"The moment that we pulled into the stadium, we saw Black and Verde fans cheering us on as we got to the stadium," Stuver said. "During warm up, you can just look around and see different groups sitting in different sections of the stadium and it's just truly amazing to see the support in our first game. We know that we want to give the fans everything, because this we play for the city and we play for them."