Mystery Donor Gives Oakland Massive Boost

He donated $34M to 'underserved' residents
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 15, 2015 5:47 AM CDT
Updated Jul 15, 2015 8:39 AM CDT
Mystery Donor Gives Oakland Massive Boost
Fred Blackwell poses for a photo at City Hall in Oakland.   (AP Photo/The Contra Costa Times, Anda Chu)

What to do with a spare $34 million? You could buy a private jet, a good-sized Caribbean island—or you could help countless people in one of California's most troubled cities. An anonymous donor went for the latter option, offering the San Francisco Foundation the cash to help "underserved" Oakland residents in areas including education and housing, Inside Bay Area reports. Foundation CEO Fred Blackwell says the donor, who called up out of the blue earlier this year, wanted the money "in the streets" by this summer. The funds will create around 2,500 jobs and more than 700 new affordable housing units, according to Inside Bay Area.

"It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," Blackwell told reporters yesterday. "We have never gotten a phone call like that in the past." The money will go to at least 17 nonprofit organizations, including health clinics, early childhood education initiatives, programs that train young people for technology jobs, and programs that help ex-cons back into the work force, reports ABC7. Officials haven't provided any more information on the donor, whom Mayor Libby Schaaf describes as a "generous soul," reports USA Today. (An immigrant couple left their entire fortune to "America.")

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