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Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos Announces $2 Billion Fund to Help Homeless Families

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos Announces $2 Billion Fund to Help Homeless Families

The Amazon CEO and his wife, MacKenzie, will commit $2 billion to fund existing nonprofits that help homeless families and to create a network of preschools in low-income communities.

The Bezos "Day One Fund" will issue annual awards to organisations that are doing "compassionate, needle-moving work" to shelter and support the immediate needs of young families, the billionaire announced in a blog post Thursday.

He said the cash will also provide funding to launch and operate "a network of high-quality, full-scholarship" pre-schools in "underserved communities".

Bezos, the wealthiest person on the planet, whose stake in Amazon is now worth about $160 billion, says he'll call it the Bezos Day One Fund.

A picture shared by Amazon chief Jeff Bezos on Instagram.

Amazon has a history of supporting homeless programs in Seattle.

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Amazon is designating 47,000 square feet of space at its new corporate office for a permanent Mary's Place shelter.

He has also been criticized for not contributing his fortune to philanthropy like other billionaires have, including Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Berkshire Hathaway's Warren Buffett. Mary's Place motto is "no child sleeps outside".

By choosing to focus his philanthropy on homelessness and early education, Bezos is likely influenced both by his parents's Bezos Family Foundation and by his adopted hometown of Seattle, however mixed some people there may feel about the city's growing affordability crisis that's been largely attributed to the success of Amazon. "Although he has a global vision, they really have a local heart". Amazon board members are reportedly coming along for the trip, four sources told The Washington Post.

"We will build an organisation to directly operate these schools".

Bezos hinted earlier this year that he would take on a major philanthropic project after asking his Twitter followers for ideas on how to give away his money.

I want to close be thanking everyone who sent me suggestions, and for the inspiring examples of innovation I see every day, large and small. In January, Bezos also personally gave $33 million USA in college scholarships for young immigrants living in the USA illegally.


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