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Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott donates $6.8 million to Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida

MacKenzie Scott
Evan Agostini
MacKenzie Scott

Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott, the ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, has granted $6.8 million to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida.

The donation, announced Thursday, is part of $281 million she granted to 62 Boys & Girls Clubs across the country, which the organization called its largest donation ever from an individual.

"This generous, unrestricted gift is an affirmation of the profound impact we have made on our young people over the past 60 years in Northeast Florida,” Paul Martinez, president and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida, said in a news release.

The gift also will help the organization meet its goal of growing from 38 to 55 clubs by 2025, he said.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida is one of the largest Boys & Girls Club organizations in the country. Its clubs serve more than 3,500 young people a day in Duval, St. Johns and Alachua counties.

Boys & Girls Clubs offer after-school and summer programs and mentorship in five core areas: character and leadership, education and workforce readiness, the arts, health and wellness, and sports and recreation.

The Northeast Florida organization has formed a steering committee, led by board Chairman Paul Price, to develop a strategy for how to best use the gift from Scott.

“Our goal is to make these dollars work harder for us because the need in our community is so great,” Price said. “There are an infinite number of young people out there that need help, so it is our duty to make the greatest impact possible with this wonderful gift.”

Forbes estimates Scott's worth at $46.2 billion. She has given away $9.2 billion to various organizations in less than two years, Forbes says.

In 2020, Scott gave $20 million to the United Way of Northeast Florida and $10 million to Goodwill Industries of North Florida, the largest gifts in their histories. The YMCA of Florida’s First Coast also received a grant but declined to disclose the amount in the announcement.

Randy comes to Jacksonville from the South Florida Sun Sentinel, where, as metro editor, he led investigative coverage of the Parkland school shooting that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for public service. He has spent more than 40 years in reporting and editing positions in Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Ohio and Florida. You can reach Randy at or on Twitter, @rroguski.