MacKenzie Scott donates $133.5 million to educational nonprofit Communities in School

The billionaire philanthropist’s donation is the largest unsolicited gift in the program’s history.

Communities in School works in 2,900 schools in America, supporting students at risk of dropping out and providing resources to help young people be successful, according to its website. The program helps 1.6 million kids in 26 states, and Scott’s donation will allow the charity to keep «expanding to touch more lives and impact more students,» CEO and program alumni Rey Saldaña told «CBS Mornings.»

The organization places staff inside schools to establish one-on-one connections with students to help them overcome challenges, and meets with schools and local service providers to give students the critical resources they need, according to its website. It has been supporting those under academic stress throughout the pandemic, it said.

CIS announced Thursday that it plans to broaden its reach across the country, thanks in large part to the donation by Scott, the ex-wife of Jeff Bezos, who was CEO of Amazon (AMZN) until last year. (Bezos is now the company’s executive chairman.) «At a time when the global pandemic has particularly hurt students with fewer community resources or adequate supports, this investment will help CIS to carry out its mission to break down the systemic barriers that stand in the way of opportunity and student success,» the organization said in a press release. Scott’s charitable giving has made headlines as she sells off billions worth of Amazon stock. Since her 2019 divorce from Bezos, Scott has donated more than $8.5 billion to organizations focused on a range of issues. She also signed the Giving Pledge in 2019, a non-binding promise by many high profile billionaires to give away the majority of their wealth to charitable endeavors.