Ex-wife of Amazon founder donates $9M to Central Florida Habitat for Humanity affiliates

Nonprofits call donation a transformative gift to help with housing crisis

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – The former wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is getting results for Central Florida’s housing market with a generous donation to two Habitat for Humanity affiliates.

Mackenzie Scott announced on Tuesday she is donating $3.5 million to Habitat for Humanity Seminole County & Greater Apopka and $5.75 million to Habitat for Humanity Greater Orlando & Osceola County.

Noel Delgado and his mother, Maria Solivan, know just how impactful the organization can be to families. They are days away from moving into their new home, which is the first ADA compliant house built by the Seminole County affiliate.

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“Now here I can do everything. I can wake up in the morning, I can put the coffee in the microwave, I can get into the bathroom, shower by myself. What else can I ask for?” Delgado said.

Penny Seater, the CEO of the Seminole County & greater Apopka affiliate, said they hope to help more families with special needs after the nonprofit received the generous gift from Scott.

“I had no idea until I got the phone call about 3 weeks ago,” Seater said.

Seater said the donation from Scott will help the organization build more homes and expand the financial wellness classes they offer to first time homebuyers.

“I think she loves what Habitat for Humanity does in general and I think she made this contribution in Central Florida because there’s a huge housing crisis and she’s willing to make an investment,” Seater said.

Catherine Steck McManus, the president & CEO of the greater Orlando & Osceola County affiliate, said the donation will help with the serious housing crisis in the area.

“With Central Florida facing this tremendous housing shortage and the housing need is so significant in our community, so it is going to certainly help a lot of people,” Steck McManus said.

She called it a transformative gift.

“It truly is that opportunity to catapult us faster into doing what we’ve always thinking of and planning,” she said.

About the Author:

Amanda Castro, a proud UCF alum, joined the News 6 team in November 2015 and was promoted to weekend morning anchor in April 2016. Go Knights!