We all know a little can go a long way, but also a lot can go even further. 

That was the intention of author and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott, who this morning announced she was donating $2.7 billion to 286 organizations, including Project Row Houses and San Jacinto College. 

Project Row Houses, which was founded in 1993, is a five-block site in Third Ward that has turned derelict shotgun houses into artist studios, exhibition spaces, family homes, and other community-driven spaces.

“Arts and cultural institutions can strengthen communities by transforming spaces, fostering empathy, reflecting community identity, advancing economic mobility, improving academic outcomes, lowering crime rates, and improving mental health,” Scott wrote on her website this morning. 

Scott also wrote that she and her team focused on “two- and four-year institutions successfully educating students who come from communities that have been chronically underserved.”

As a result, San Jacinto College, a community college, received $30 million, which the school is putting toward student tuition, according to Houston Chronicle. Per the report, that money, which the college had previously announced as coming from an anonymous donor, is enough to pay around 5,000 students’ tuitions for up to three years as they work to earn associate degrees and workforce certificates. 

“Thank you, @mackenziescott,” San Jacinto College tweeted today. “The entire San Jac community is deeply grateful! We are stunned by this unbelievable gift and excited about the opportunities it provides for us to serve our community in new ways.”

Brazosport College, down in Lake Jackson, also received a donation. All of the 286 organizations listed today are able to use the money however they see fit. 

Since July 2020, Scott, who has signed the Giving Pledge, has donated $8.4 billion to charities. Last December, she gave $18 million to the Greater Houston YMCA and $50 million to Prairie View A&M University, the most money from a single donation either entity had ever received up until that point.

These donations empower “receivers by making them feel valued and by unlocking their best solutions,” Scott wrote. “Generosity is generative. Sharing makes more.”

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