GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – In recognition of Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of Franklin County’s community work and mission to provide powerful one-to-one mentor relationship experiences for youth, billionaire philanthropist Makenzie Scott has donated $500,000 to the organization.

“This generosity comes at a critical time for our community,” says BBBS of Franklin County Executive Director Jennifer Webster. “Our youth need, now more than ever, to be seen, heard and validated while facing the challenges of today’s world. They need mentors to help them build resilience and hope for their future.”  

According to a news release from BBBS of Franklin County, nearly 11 million kids live in poverty. While over 13 million youth undergo emotional, behavioral, and developmental challenges.

“Mentoring plays a critical role in helping bridge the provider gap for young people. It helps build safety nets that can directly mitigate the effects of trauma and offer connection and support where young people need it most.” Says Elizabeth Swihart, Board President.

Scott’s donation is the largest donation that the organization has received. Her investment helps show the importance of mentorship programs.

“This generosity, coupled with the strong foundation we have built through investment from our donors and community partners, we are poised to launch a powerful transformation in our local community that will be felt for generations,” said Webster.  “BBBS of Franklin County believes no one person, organization, or gift alone can drive the significant impact mentorship can have on a young person’s life. It takes a village of support to bring that level of impact. We are deeply grateful to  Ms. Scott and see her investment as an invitation for others to join her in helping to transform mentorship for young people today and for generations to come.”

The gift was unsolicited, and Scott has previously shared publicly about her team’s approach to giving. “We do this 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. Because our research is data-driven and rigorous, our giving process can be human and soft.”

Across the nation, 232 Big Brothers Sisters affiliates can be found. Scott donated in total, $122.6 million to 38 of the affiliates, along with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.