Watertown foundation plans how it will use $5 million MacKenzie Scott donation

-A small town foundation recently received a real shot in the arm- a $5 million grant.
Published: Oct. 24, 2022 at 10:44 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 24, 2022 at 10:45 PM CDT
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WATERTOWN, Wis. (WMTV) - A small town foundation recently received a real shot in the arm- a $5 million gift.

The Greater Watertown Community Health Foundation was recognized by philanthropist MacKenzie Scott, who donated the grant. Board member Nate Salas says he is excited the organization’s hard work was acknowledged.

“Someone outside from our community recognizes what we are doing and someone wants to again put more money toward that,” Salas said.

The team says they are ready to focus on helping families find affordable child care. Board Member Nathan Peters says this is one of the first items on the list for the team to tackle.

“We also sit in child care deserts and again and that’s another big focus of us and that allows to get more aggressive with it,” Peters said.

President and CEO Tina Crave says the need is greater than ever for high quality childcare so parents can work.

“We have less than one licensed childcare slot for every three children in our community and since the pandemic we lost an additional 127 slots,” Crave said.

Crave says the grant will help a long-term project. “We have a new childcare center slated to open this June in Watertown and some of the resources from the grant will be used to support that,” Crave said. The foundation says they will also put the money into affordable housing.

“Workforce housing is a huge initiative. We know there is about 4,000 units short out our community coverage that is causing a huge supply and demand,” Peters said.

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