Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott has donated $5 million to the Hawaii Community Foundation for Maui fire recovery and relief efforts.
The foundation announced the gift today, saying 75% of the amount will be designated for the Maui Strong Fund, while the remainder will support operating costs for ongoing relief efforts.
The Maui Strong Fund was activated the morning after the Aug. 8 fires — the deadliest U.S. wildfire in more than a century — resulting in at least 100 deaths, more than 2,000 buildings destroyed and thousands displaced from their homes.
“We are honored that Ms. Scott continues to recognize and trust the Hawaii Community Foundation’s ability to respond to the needs of our community,” says Micah Kane, CEO and president of HCF, in a news release. “Ms. Scott’s donation to the Maui Strong Fund and to Hawaii Community Foundation’s operations will strengthen our organization’s ability to make a positive impact on the people and places affected by the devastating Maui fires now and in the long-term.”
The $5 million gift follows a $10 million donation Scott made to the foundation in 2020 to support its Hawaii Resilience Fund, which was created to rapidly deploy resources to community nonprofits and health care providers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Scott, a philanthropist, author and ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, in 2019 signed The Giving Pledge, which asks billionaires to commit the majority of their wealth to philanthropy.
The Hawaii Community Foundation said with Scott’s most recent gift, the Maui Strong Fund has now received more than $163 million from 240,000 donors in 68 countries.
As of Dec. 1, over $34 million from the Maui Strong Fund has been awarded to more than 150 partners addressing a range of needs on the Valley Isle — from baby and maternal care to grief counseling and housing.