MacKenzie Scott continues her mission to give away her fortune with $15 million donation to vision enterprise

MacKenzie Scott, pictured in 2018, has donated $15 million to VisionSpring.
Greg Doherty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

MacKenzie Scott, the ex-wife of Amazon’s billionaire founder Jeff Bezos, unveiled her latest move in her mission to give away her fortune.

Scott, whose wealth comes from the Amazon shares she received in her divorce settlement with Bezos, has given money away at a record pace.

While her philanthropy has dented her net worth, Scott is still the 31st richest person on the planet, according to Forbes’s “Real Time Billionaires” ranking.

On Thursday, it was revealed she had donated $15 million to VisionSpring, a New York–based organization that gives those in need access to glasses.

Scott’s donation, described by the enterprise as “transformative,” will help VisionSpring with its $70 million initiative to correct the vision of 6 million people around the world by 2030.

“The gift from Ms. Scott is an incredible acknowledgment of the power of a simple pair of eyeglasses to unlock earning, learning, safety, and well-being for people vulnerable to poverty,” VisionSpring CEO Ella Gudwin said in a statement on Thursday.

VisionSpring said trials had shown providing glasses lifted worker productivity by up to a third, and was looking to assist those working in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa’s tea, cocoa, coffee, and artisan industries with its new program.

According to VisionSpring, as many as 85% of these industries’ workers who need glasses have never had their vision tested.

Scott’s donation to VisionSpring is believed to be the largest single private donation toward helping solve uncorrected eyesight problems as a poverty intervention.

Scott’s giving spree

In the two years since Scott and Bezos’s divorce was finalized, she has given away at least $12 billion of her fortune with multimillion-dollar donations to various organizations including Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and Junior Achievement USA.

The 2019 settlement saw Scott become the world’s fourth-richest woman, but she soon signed the Giving Pledge, promising to give away the majority of her fortune.

“I have a disproportionate amount of money to share,” Scott said when she signed up to the initiative.

“My approach to philanthropy will continue to be thoughtful. It will take time and effort and care. But I won’t wait—and I will keep at it until the safe is empty.”

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