The United Way of Southwest Louisiana has been helping our community for the past eight decades. In those eighty years many of us, myself included, have given money, time, energy, and attention to the causes that the United Way helps to support. While our donations are the backbone of the mission, a donation like the one that was announced yesterday will certainly enhance the agency's ability to do good for the next several years.

A donation of $5 million dollars, yes, $5 million dollars, was announced Tuesday by author and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott. Our local United Way as well as two other Louisiana United Way agencies each received donations. It's estimated that Scott has generously donated over $4 billion across the country over the past few years.

Scott who ranks 18th on the world's richest list is the former wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. The latest announcement from Scott to disperse more than $4.2 billion dollars comes on the heels of another gift of $1.7 billion that was earmarked for historically Black colleges and universities earlier this year.

Scott and her team of advisors identified 384 different organizations and charities for this most recent round of charitable contributions. Each of the organizations demonstrated a desire to serve real people in face to face situations and to improve life and living conditions in the communities they serve.

Directors of the United Way in Southwest Louisiana say the generous gift will be used to ensure the five parish region served by the agency will be re-invested in the community through several different projects and initiatives. However, Scott's generous offering does not mean your support won't still be needed to keep South Louisiana Living United.

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