An organization that helps people build their own homes with volunteers just received a big boost, both locally and nationally.
Flower City Habitat for Humanity is receiving a $3.75 million gift from MacKenzie Scott, a gift the organization calls “transformational.”
She is the ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and has pledged to give away the majority of her wealth.
Rochester’s gift is part of an overall $436 million gift from Scott to Habitat for Humanity nationwide. Rochester is one of 83 individual affiliates receiving a portion of that money.
Matt Flanigan is the local president and CEO of Habitat for Humanity. He said the $3.75 million will not only help with current housing and materials costs, but also with the organization’s long-term planning.
It also allows us to spend part of those dollars in our future to ensure that we have the infrastructure in place to withstand calamities that we can’t even foresee todayFlanigan said.
“And I think the last couple of years have taught us that it’s wise to anticipate things that you might not think about at first.”
The umbrella organization, Habitat International, will use its share of the grant to prioritize advocacy and efforts to dismantle systemic racism in housing. Habitat International Executive Director Jonathan Reckford said, “Habitat strives to break down barriers…and build a world where everyone, no matter who they are or where they come from, has a decent place to live.” Reckford said Scott’s gift makes that work possible.
In recent months, Mackenzie Scott has donated $20 million to the United Way of Greater Rochester and $10 million to Goodwill of the Finger Lakes.
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