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Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott makes multimillion dollar donations to local non-profits

Published: Dec. 16, 2020 at 6:40 PM CST
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - The wealthiest woman in the world makes a massive charitable donation and the Stateline is reaping the benefits.

“I think it really validates the work that we’re all doing,” said Kris Machajewski, CEO of YWCA Northwestern Illinois.

Billionaire philanthropist MacKenzie Scott donates $4.2 billion to 384 non-profit organizations nationwide, hoping to reinvigorate communities struggling in the wake of COVID-19.

“They trusted their process in vetting the organizations that they ultimately gave these gifts to and that we would be able to identify what those needs were in the community to best serve our community going forward,” said Ben Bernsten of Goodwill Industries of Northern Illinois.

Two local beneficiaries, Goodwill Industries of Northern Illinois and YWCA Northwestern Illinois, say the multimillion gift couldn’t have come at a better time.

“It’s just overwhelming relief,” said Machajewski. “There have been so many of us as nonprofit leaders who have been so worried because of this pandemic. Our fundraisers have been decimated.”

“A lot of our programs are struggling. I just can’t even begin to tell you the relief that we’re feeling because of this,” Machajewski said.

“Rockford is an area that I think has been more impacted by this pandemic than perhaps some other communities, and particularly certain populations with within this community,” said Bernsten. “Really it’s the role of all these different not for profit partners to really make a difference.”

Goodwill Northern Illinois is set to receive $5 million, while YWCA of Northwestern Illinois will receive $1 million. Other local organizations on Scott’s list include Meals on Wheels Foundation of Northern Illinois and Easterseals serving Chicagoland and Greater Rockford.

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