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Goodwill will get $10 million donation from MacKenzie Scott


Goodwill of the Finger Lakes will be getting a major donation that officials say will help that organization serve the community for years to come.

Goodwill is getting a $10 million gift, the largest single donation in the organization’s more than 100-year  history.

The gift comes from MacKenzie Scott, a novelist and philanthropist who is also the ex-wife of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.  Last December, she also donated $20 million to the United Way of Greater Rochester. It’s all part of more than $4 billion that Scott has donated to 384 organizations.

Jennifer Lake, CEO of Goodwill of the Finger Lakes, and she says that agency will work on getting community input for how this money should be used.

"It also allows us to enter a process with the community where we get input and we partner with other existing stakeholders for their input to see where there’s gaps locally, and how we can do even more to support the community," Lake said.

Lake notes that Goodwill, which operates the 211/LIFE LINE program and vision rehabilitation programs, has been under financial pressures over the last year due to the pandemic. At the same time, she says demand for the 211 service has sharply increased; this new funding will help keep the organization on firm footing.

"Whether it’s things like food insecurity, eviction prevention programs and…behavioral health - mental health support, substance use disorder, referral information," Lake said. "The community really needs us more than it ever has before."