United Way of Southwest Louisiana Awarded $5 Million from MacKenzie Scott

December 15, 2020, by Tami

Gift to be used for long-term, sustainable improvement of the region


LAKE CHARLES, LA, December 15 – United Way of Southwest Louisiana was awarded its single largest gift in the organization’s history on Tuesday with a $5 million donation from author and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott.

United Way of Southwest Louisiana was one out of 6,000-plus organizations Scott initially researched and considered. Ultimately, 384 organizations were selected for which Scott said, “These 384 carefully selected teams have dedicated their lives to helping others, working and volunteering and serving real people face-to-face at bedsides and tables, in prisons and courtrooms and classrooms, on streets and hospital wards and hotlines and frontlines of all types and sizes, day after day after day.”

United Way of Southwest Louisiana is thrilled to receive Scott’s gift as the largest ever in the non-profits’ 80-year history, Denise Durel, United Way of Southwest Louisiana, president and CEO, said. “It is an honor that Ms. Scott and her experienced team of advisers recognized the reach and efficiency of our work in Southwest Louisiana. This donation is not only a credit to our mission, organization and the community members who support us, but also our proven success.”

While the five-parish region has been hit exceptionally hard this year between the economic and health crises of COVID-19 and Hurricanes Laura and Delta, Durel said the gift will be used to ensure the region’s future success with long-term rebuilding plans that create lasting impact. “Our roots run deep and we are dedicated to ensuring that these funds pave the way for a truly sustainable future for generations to come.”

In addition to United Way of Southwest Louisiana, Scott has donated a total of $4.1 billion across the country including two fellow United Ways in Louisiana.

To learn more about MacKenzie Scott’s donations visit https://medium.com/@mackenzie_scott/384-ways-to-help-45d0b9ac6ad8.

For more information on United Way of Southwest Louisiana, visit www.unitedwayswla.org or call 337.433.1088.

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About United Way of Southwest Louisiana

United Way of Southwest Louisiana is an authority on recognizing, measuring and mobilizing the resources to target community needs in Southwest Louisiana with a focus on four pillars: Education, Economic Mobility, Health and Basic Needs. For 80 years, we have supported efforts in Allen, Beauregard, Cameron, Calcasieu and Jeff Davis Parish that improve the quality of life for all residents through volunteerism and resource development.