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YMCA of Delaware gets needed boost from Scott donation

Delaware Public Media

Christmas came early this year for the YMCA of Delaware in the form of a 10 million dollar donation.


The YMCA of Delaware is receiving $10 million from philanthropist Mackenzie Scott, Jeff Bezos’ ex-wife and one of the richest women in the world.


The YMCA DE lost millions of dollars in revenue this year due to shutdowns and mandatory COVID-19 safety protocols. 


President and CEO of YMCA Delaware Deborah Bagatta-Bowles said Scott’s gift could not have come at a better time. The YMCA typically gives an annual 5.5 million dollars in financial assistance. Scott’s donation will help to prevent a shortfall.


“What we’re trying to do is really just climb back out of this hole created by the pandemic," said Bagatta-Bowles. We have so many families in need. We’re anticipating in 2021 two or three times the number of normal financial assistance applications.”

Bagatta-Bowles said the money will also help to restart ongoing projects including construction for a new YMCA in Middletown.


Scott’s donation is part of a pledge signed in 2019 to redistribute her wealth.

She gave a total of 4.2 billion dollars divided up between 384 non-profit organizations across the country, including $20 million to Delaware State University, the largest in that school’s history. 



“I would just hope that it inspires other donors," said Bagatta-Bowles. "When you have a sophisticated donor like Mackenzie Scott who does the research, takes the time, selects organizations, I think it’s a vote of confidence, we feel really good about that.”



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