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For Immediate Release

Easterseals Louisiana Receives $5 Million Transformational Gift from Author and Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott

December 17, 2020

Media Contact:
Matthew Wallace
mwallace@laeasterseals.com
2258886055

Author and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott announced this week that she has made an unrestricted transformational $5 million gift to Easterseals Louisiana, representing the largest gift in the organization's history. Easterseals Louisiana 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.

In announcing today the 384 organizations to benefit from her philanthropy, including 12 in Louisiana, Ms. Scott indicated that she’d asked a team of advisors to accelerate her 2020 giving to immediately support people suffering 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 frontlines 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 Louisiana has provided services across the state since 1951.  Today more than 10,000 individuals are supported by the nearly 200 staff through the organization’s nine service sites.  Supporting individuals of all ages, Easterseals Louisiana fulfills its mission through home and community based services, early intervention programs, and behavioral health supports.  

“This contribution from Ms. Scott represents the largest one-time gift in Easterseals Louisiana’s history and we are honored to be a recipient” said Easterseals Louisiana President and CEO Tracy Garner.  “This gift will allow us to establish an innovation fund to accomplish projects we have only dreamed of to meet the ever-changing needs of people with disabilities. Our vision is for all individuals, regardless of ability, to be fully included participants in their communities and in society.”

To learn more about our programs, follow our progress, and join in supporting our mission please visit www.laeasterseals.com and follow us on social media @laeasterseals. 

About Easterseals Louisiana

Founded in 1951, Easterseals Louisiana supports more than 10,000 individuals with a disability across the state through its 9 offices and nearly 200 employees. These services include home and community based supports for individuals with a developmental or age related disability, early intervention programs, campership opportunities, and an array of behavioral health interventions including transitional housing, PEER support, and reintegration case management for the formerly incarcerated.  Additionally Easterseals Louisiana advocates for these individuals with policy makers within the Louisiana Legislature.  Easterseals Louisiana invites members of the community to learn more and join in supporting its Innovation Fund at www.laeasterseals.com

About Easterseals 

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

About MacKenzie Scott

Self described Mom, writer, and advocate, MacKenzie Scott first shared the news of her $4,158,500,000 in gifts to 384 organizations across all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington D.C. on the website Medium.  The post can be accessed at https://medium.com/@mackenzie_scott/384-ways-to-help-45d0b9ac6ad8

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