Walla Walla community receives a portion of MacKenzie Scott’s donations

As part of MacKenzie Scott's $4.3 billion in donations, the Walla Walla community just got a boost.
Walla Walla

WALLA WALLA, Wash. — As the country faces an immeasurable crisis in the pandemic, philanthropist MacKenzie Scott stepped up to the challenge by donating approx. $4.1 billion to charitable causes including many throughout Walla Walla.

Most notably, Scott granted a $15 million gift to Walla Walla Community College (WWCC). The school was identified by Scott’s team of advisors to address “long term systemic inequities that have been deepened by the crisis, including education for historically marginalized and underserved people.”

WWCC President Chad Hickox was elated by the possibilities that a sum of money like this can do for a school of more than 7,535 full- and part-time students.

“Short-term, it will help us to rise to the challenges posed by the pandemic, as we work tirelessly to meet our students’ needs during this extremely challenging time,” Hickox said. “Long-term, this grant becomes the foundation for ongoing investments in innovation, empowering us not only to dream big for our students and the communities we serve, but to realize those dreams.”

RELATED: Walla Walla Valley developing first Regional Housing Action Plan

Before deciding how to spend their new funding, the college will have consultations with the WWCC Foundation’s Board of Governors, WWCC Trustees and stakeholders.

Roughly one-third of the WWCC student body falls into the category of historically underrepresented students of color. This falls in line with Scott’s commitment to aiding those afflicted by the systemic inequities of this country. One of the many ways she hopes to contribute to this cause is by addressing “education for historically marginalized and underserved people,” according to her Medium post.

WWCC isn’t the only Walla Walla staple to receive Scott’s assistance. The Walla Walla YMCA was also listed as one of the 384 organizations that Scott provided a financial boost to during the year.

Scott also donated to Craft3, which is a regional nonprofit that makes loans to strengthen and support established nonprofits and start-ups in the Pacific Northwest. Craft3 has a Mid-Columbia Basin branch located on E Main St in Walla Walla.

RELATED: Newly-established Walla Walla Police Foundation seeking donations for ‘community care fund’

While these are the noteworthy donations that immediately impact this community, Scott’s hundreds of donations throughout the 50 states, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico will make a ripple through the United States as we know it.

In 2019, Scott pledged to donate a majority of her wealth to the people and society that enabled her to build it. The majority of Scott’s wealth comes from her share in Amazon.com Inc., which has skyrocketed in value as a result of the pandemic.

“Though I’m far from completing my pledge, this year of giving began with exposure to leaders from historically marginalized groups fighting inequities, and ended with exposure to thousands of organizations working to alleviate suffering for those hardest hit by the pandemic,” Scott said.

RELATED: Want to help your community? Here’s our ‘Give Back December’ charity list

RELATED: MacKenzie Scott says she has given $4.1 billion to charity