RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — The former wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has made a large donation to a non-profit that helps the elder in western KELOLAND.
MacKenzie Scott, a billionaire author and philanthropist, is giving $1.5 million to Meals on Wheels in Western South Dakota.
Executive Director of Meals on Wheels in Western South Dakota, George Larson, says he received an anonymous email last week from someone stating they wanted to make a donation.
“At first I thought, yeah right whatever kind of thing and so then we followed up with a couple phone calls and so this week we found out officially that we just received $1.5 million of unrestricted funds from MacKenzie Scott,” Larson said.
Larson says the money is one of the largest donations the non-profit has ever seen.
“We’re really excited about the future that it insures for Meals on Wheels Western South Dakota. We’re going to immediately use it, probably to replace a bunch of aging equipment that’s here in town and across Western South Dakota. We have a lot of stoves and things like that that are over 20 years old that need to be replaced,” Larson said.
Scott’s gift will go a long way toward helping the non-profit deliver meals to the elderly in eight counties. In fact, Meals on Wheels is delivering about 247 Christmas meals today.
“It’s important because there’s vulnerable populations out there everywhere and our seniors are one of the most vulnerable populations. They don’t have the ability to go out and work and make a living on their own. A lot of them don’t have the ability to go out and get lunch whenever they whether that’s income based or mobility based,” Cory Hopfer, volunteer, said.
While MacKenzie Scott’s donation was very generous, volunteer Cory Hopfer says whether you donate your time or money, anything helps.
“That money is not going to last forever. Senior populations are continuously growing as with their needs and it takes the entire community chipping in,” Hopfer said.
According to Forbes, Scott has a net worth of $56.4 billion. She’s also making donations to Mitchell Tech and Lake Area Tech in South Dakota.