Over the past few months, the third wealthiest woman in the world, MacKenzie Scott, has donated a staggering $4.2 billion of her fortune to various entities across the country including some HBCUs.
In a recent post on her Medium titled “384 Ways to Help”, the ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos touched on how a food donation drive of a then 19-year-old lady in Chicago during the COVID-19 pandemic, inspired her to also launch her own.
“In March, a 19-year-old girl in Chicago sent a group text to her friends suggesting they buy supplies for people in their neighborhood who had lost their jobs,” she wrote. “She posted two Google forms — one for people who needed help and another for people with help to give — and by two days later they’d raised $7,000. ‘We’re really excited,’ she said.”
The lady in question was Alycia Kamil. Speaking to USA Today, activist, poet and educator, said she was surprised when she heard the billionaire mentioned her program in her post.
“I was like, oh, that’s me. I had no clue that she even donated that amount of money, or that she saw an article from somewhere about the work that I did that inspired her. It was pretty cool,” Kamil said.
Kamil told the news outlet she wanted to extend a helping hand to residents who lived in areas that lacked affordable and healthy food options and were in need of groceries around the period COVID-19 hit the city. Together with her friends and volunteers, they were able to raise $7,000 and arranged for groceries worth $200 to $300 to be delivered to 30 families.
“I wanted to do a more hands-on thing to be considerate of the people who, even if they get the money, they have to take the bus and then bring all these groceries on the bus,” she said. “It’s about the importance of understanding communal living. We should all be able to resource and depend on each other.”
The food initiative wasn’t Kamil’s first, as she had also previously assisted with hosting a number of “Feed the Block” events where they gave hot meals to residents through GoodKids MadCity. The youth-led non-profit organization fights to end violence in Chicago and lobbies for more resources to be made available to underserved communities, according to USA Today.
The 20-year-old said she’s following that up with a similar project – “Resource the Block” – to hand out PPE, water, packaged food and other supplies to needy families. She said she’ll also roll out her grocery initiative again during the winter season.