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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Despite a 2-0 deficit, there was a pot of gold for Austin FC after all as it celebrated its annual Pride Night with rainbows and a 2-2 comeback draw to FC Dallas Saturday night.
After three FC Dallas losses last season, the Dallas derby draw marks the first time Austin FC has tied against its Copa Texas rival. Austin continues to edge over FC Dallas as it sits at 3rd in the MLS West.
Here are the biggest takeaways from the match:
A somber start
Decked out in colorful hues for LBGTQ+ Pride, Verde fans started the match on a somber note as they held up banners to take a stand against gun violence before the match.
As the national anthem began, fans held up banners with the names of each child that was killed in the Uvalde school shooting and a plea to "end gun violence."
The supporters' section was also dotted with Pride flags and a "Bans off Our Bodies" banner in protest of the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
FC Dallas earns a 2-0 lead
That sober tone continued onto the pitch. With midfielder Daniel Pereira's absence due to a red card, the Verde and Black lost two goals to FC Dallas by the 70th minute of play.
FC Dallas played it sneaky for the first half of the match, giving Austin FC plenty of room to hold possession as it waited to strike on a Verde error. That mentality proved dangerous for Austin as Dallas' Paul Arriola took advantage of Brad Stuver's deflection to score the first goal of the night in the 57th minute of play.
Dallas struck once more as Brandon Servant pushed past the Verde line to score the second goal of the match.
Austin FC strikes back
But energy quickly returned to Austin's favor thanks to Designated Player Sebastian Driussi, who scooted past several FC Dallas defenders alongside Moussa Djitte to snag an unlikely first goal for Austin.
A full Verde comeback
Austin's subs proved deadly as momentum returned to the home team toward the end of the match. A well-placed cross from Nick Lima—and a diving header from a fresh-legged Danny Hoesen—helped the team secure the draw with a second Verde goal in the 84th minute of play.
Hoesen, who was Austin's first starting striker last season, has now scored two goals with the team after a yearlong injury stuck him on the bench.
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Hours following the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark ruling that guaranteed a constitutional right to an abortion, on Friday, about 1,000 people gathered in Republic Square with signs calling for change.
The rally, organized by the group Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights Texas, started at the federal courthouse on Republic Square on Friday at 5 p.m. before the crowd marched to the Texas Capitol. More protests are expected to ensue over the weekend.
People showed up with all types of signs like Mindy Moffa holding up, "Keep your filthy laws off my silky drawers."
Austin joined cities across the country that saw protests for a women's right to an abortion after the ruling.
According to a recent UT poll, 78% of Texas voters support abortion access in most cases.
Sabrina Talghade and Sofia Pellegrini held up signs directed at Texas laws. A Texas trigger law will ban all abortions from the moment of fertilization, starting 30 days after the ruling. When state legislators passed the trigger law last summer, it also passed laws for more protection of firearms, including the right to open carry without a permit.
Lili Enthal of Austin yells as around 1,000 Texans marched to the Texas Capitol.
From the Texas Capitol, Zoe Webb lets her voice be heard against the Supreme Court ruling.
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