Easterseals Northeast Central Florida Among Beneficiaries of MacKenzie Scott Philanthropic Gifts Announced December 15thRead Now
Author and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott announced yesterday that she has made an unrestricted transformational gift to Easterseals Northeast Central Florida. Easterseals Northeast Central Florida is one of 22 Easterseals Affiliates from across the country to benefit from Scott’s philanthropy, in addition to its National Office, to support life-changing services and powerful advocacy for the one in four Americans living with disability today . Ms. Scott outlined her giving in a post called "384 Ways to Help." You can read Ms. Scott’s announcement of her 2020 giving and selection process here.
In announcing the 384 organizations to benefit from her philanthropy, Ms. Scott indicated that she’d asked a team of advisors to accelerate her 2020 giving to immediately support people suffering from the economic effects of the pandemic. “We do our research and deeper diligence not only to identify organizations with high potential for impact, but also to pave the way for unsolicited and unexpected gifts given with full trust and no strings attached,” said Ms. Scott. “Because our research is data-driven and rigorous, our giving process can be human and soft. Not only are non-profits chronically underfunded, they are also chronically diverted from their work by fundraising, and by burdensome reporting requirements that donors often place on them. These 384 carefully selected organizations 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 front lines of all types and sizes, day after day after day. They help by delivering vital services and also through the profound encouragement felt each time a person is seen, valued, and trusted by another human being. This kind of encouragement has a special power when it comes from a stranger, and it works its magic on everyone.”
She continued, “The response from these organizations in talking with us often included personal stories and tears which invariably made me and my teammates cry. This kind of chain reaction was captured perfectly by a longtime advocate for people with disabilities: ‘We work with people who have been marginalized for many reasons. Some of our greatest moments of success come through small gestures when a client’s hope is restored. Feeling valued is an amazing sensation. I see the eyes of our clients light up when their efforts are appreciated. Good begets good. I have always believed this, but I have been sorely tested over the past few years.’ Scott added, “Me too.”
Easterseals Northeast Central Florida offers life changing supports and services for over 5,000 local children annually, partnering with their parents and physicians to improve lifetime success. Children receive early intervention and developmental screening, early childhood education, autism diagnoses and functional assessment, pediatric specialty therapy interventions and family supports such as respite, wrap around care and adaptive technology focused on helping children reach their full potential in how they live, learn and play.
“This gift from Ms. Scott represents a transformational gift for Easterseals and we are humbled and honored to advance the dreams we have for our clients,” said Easterseals Northeast Central Florida President & CEO Bev Johnson. “With the input of leading experts across specialties and diagnoses, Easterseals Northeast Central Florida has the people, capacity and passion to redefine how our community addresses disability services. We are overwhelmed with the anticipation of accelerating our progress, and the limitless possibilities in creating a community where:
Ms. Scott signed the Giving Pledge in 2019, a project that encourages billionaires to promise to give away at least half of their wealth throughout their lifetime. Wealthy individuals including Warren Buffett, Bill and Melinda Gates as well as Reed Hastings and Patty Quillin have also signed the Giving Pledge.
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About Easterseals Northeast Central Florida
Easterseals Northeast Central Florida has advocated for people with disabilities for 70 years. With the input of leading experts across specialties and diagnoses, Easterseals Northeast Central Florida has the people, capacity and passion to redefine how our community addresses disability services. We achieve this by creating and managing programs and services, and by strategically partnering with our community’s most respected and prominent medical, educational and social-service organizations. We are dedicated to creating a community where every child with special needs in our community is 100% empowered with the services and supports they need to thrive. Learn more at www.eastersealsnecfl.org.
Driven by its purpose to change the way the world defines and views disability by making profound, positive differences in people’s lives every day, Easterseals has been an indispensable resource for individuals with disabilities, including veterans and seniors, as well as their families and communities for more than 100 years. Together, its national network of Affiliates serves 1.5 million people annually through high-quality services and powerful advocacy. Its services include early intervention; autism services; medical rehabilitation including physical, occupational, and speech therapies; behavioral health; workforce development; adult day programs; and more. In schools, workplaces, and communities, Easterseals is fostering environments where everyone is included and valued – making a real and positive impact on us all. Join us in ensuring that everyone – regardless of age or ability – is 100% included and 100% empowered to fully participate in life. Learn more at www.easterseals.com.