Bezos’ ex-wife donates $10 million to YMCA of South Hampton Roads

December 19, 2020
Eastern Shore Family YMCA

The YMCA of South Hampton Roads has received a $10 million transformational grant awarded by philanthropist MacKenzie Scott. This gift is the largest in the organization’s history and one of 384 nonprofits whose “carefully selected teams have dedicated their lives to helping others, working and volunteering and serving real people face-to-face,” said Scott in her December 15th announcement. 

“Our Y is filled with gratitude and thankfulness in Mackenzie Scott’s recognition of the Y’s contributions to the communities we serve, specifically in the areas of child care during the pandemic, our ability to pivot our Centers by distributing and collecting food for those in need, and our commitment to diversity & inclusion practices,” says Anthony Walters, President and CEO of the YMCA of South Hampton Roads. “Our Board and Staff are working diligently to make sure this resource is impactful in changing the lives of many for years to come. We are making plans as we speak to address immediate recovery from the pandemic, while also considering how best to apply and leverage this provided treasure for the long term strength of the YMCA in all the communities we serve,” said Walters. 

The unexpected grant award was incredibly needed as Ys across the nation have experienced tragic and significant injury during the pandemic and recovery efforts are expected well into the future. This generous gift will afford the YMCA of South Hampton Roads the ability to continue its response to child care needs, deliver virtual wellness services, and strengthen our collaborative efforts to ensure we are maximizing reach of essential programs to our communities. 

Walters continued, “We are incredibly honored that MacKenzie Scott saw fit to invest this one-time, unrestricted gift in us! Her trust and confidence in our ability to conduct services that are equitable, accessible, and open to all, is extremely humbling and a great testament to the countless volunteers, members, stakeholders, and staff that have worked so hard to keep this YMCA moving forward. This grant changes the lives of the people we serve.” 

It is the YMCA’s hope that Ms. Scott’s generosity is a catalyst for additional public and private support for the work of the Y and other community-serving organizations.



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