We have a Chicago teen to thank for MacKenzie Scott’s most recent donation spree.
USA Today reports Scott, the ex-wife of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, recently donated a whopping $4.2 billion of her fortune to various entities across the country — most notably HBCUs.
The third wealthiest woman in the world recently posted an article to Medium titled 384 Ways to Help and touched on how a food donation drive led by a then 19-year-old young woman in Chicago inspired her to create her own.
“In March, a 19-year-old girl in Chicago sent a group text to her friends suggesting they buy supplies for people in their neighborhood who had lost their jobs,” wrote Scott. “She posted two Google forms– one for people who need help and another for people with help to give — and by two days later they’d raised $7,000. ‘We’re really excited.'”
Alycia Kamil — the woman responsible for the kind acts that influenced Scott — is a poet, educator, and activist who tells USA Today that she was blown away after hearing the billionaire mentioned her program.
“I was like, oh that’s me. I had no clue she even donated that amount of money, or that she saw an article from somewhere about the work that I did that inspired her,” shared Kamil. “It was pretty cool.”
To extend a helping hand to residents lacking affordable and healthy food options, and in need of groceries when COVID-19 initially hit the city, Kamil told the news outlet that she along with friends and volunteers were able to raise $7,000. They then arranged for groceries worth $200 to $300 to be delivered to 30 families.
“I wanted to do a more hands-on thing to be considerate of the people who, even if they get the money, they have to take the bus and then bring all these groceries on the bus,” said Kamil. “It’s about the importance of understanding communal living. We should all be able to resource and depend on each other.”
No stranger to helping those in need, Kamil is also responsible for previously assisting and hosting a number of “Feed the Block” events which gave hot meals to residents through GoodKids MadCity — the youth-led nonprofit organization that works to end violence in Chicago and lobbies for more resources for underserved communities.
Currently, the now 20-year-old is working on a similar project — “Resource the Block”– where she plans to hand out water, PPE, packaged food, and other supplies to those in need. Kamil also plans to roll out her grocery initiative once again for the upcoming winter season.