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Goodwill Southeast Georgia shocked by $5 million donation from MacKenzie Scott

Goodwill Southeast Georgia shocked by $5 million donation from MacKenzie Scott
Goodwill Southeast Georgia shocked by $5 million donation from MacKenzie Scott
Updated: May. 27, 2021 at 6:52 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Late last year, Goodwill Southeast Georgia learned they were going to be receiving millions of dollars from an ultra-wealthy donor.

That donor was billionaire MacKenzie Scott, novelist and ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

The $5 million donation was unsolicited, and Goodwill Southeast Georgia’s CEO said at first, he thought the email he initially received notifying him of Scott’s intentions was spam.

But it was not.

It is one example of Scott’s charitable donations last year, totaling in the billions of dollars.

For Goodwill Southeast Georgia, the money is going toward a couple objectives. The first is expanding the business side of things.

“Donated goods operations really require about twice as much operational warehouse space as we have now. We have land here at Sallie Mood, but we did not have the ability to build another 30,000 square feet of warehouse space that will help us with our expanding donated goods operation,” Goodwill Southeast Georgia President/CEO Michael Winckler said.

Now that they can handle that expansion, it will allow Goodwill to generate additional revenue to support people looking to further their education who can’t otherwise with wrap-around services like transportation and childcare. The remaining donated money will go toward an adult education center.

“Somewhere where we can help individuals that have not had the academic track record, to immediately step into a middle-skills, middle-income credentialed program at the technical college,” Winckler said.

Winckler said that education center will be a part of a project on Savannah’s east side that’s still in discussion, but involves a partnership with the YMCA, Housing Authority of Savannah and East Side United.

“We really think that can be a game-changer, not just for the east side, but for all Savannahians,” Winckler said.

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