Published: Fri, September 14, 2018
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Amazon chief Jeff Bezos gives $2bn to help the homeless

Amazon chief Jeff Bezos gives $2bn to help the homeless

It will begin with the commitment of $2 billion and focus on two areas: funding existing non-profits that help homeless families, and creating a network of new, non-profit, tier-one preschools in low-income communities. "If our own great-grandchildren don't have lives better than ours, something has gone very wrong", said Bezos in a statement shared on Twitter.

In a tweet last June, Bezos asked the public for ideas about where he should give his money. While he has financially supported cancer research and scholarships for immigrants, among other causes, Bezos has primarily devoted his fortune to his Blue Origin rocket company, which he described on Thursday as an "investment in the future of our planet through the development of foundational space infrastructure".

To raise awareness about childhood cancer, which is the second leading cause of death in the U.S. between kids aged 4 and 14, Amazon's Jeff Bezos wore pajamas to a meeting on Wednesday. Previous to the creation of the Day One Fund, Bezos and his family had donated only $135 million to charities, including the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, a nonprofit providing scholarships for the children of parents who immigrated the USA illegally and most recently to a bi-partisan organization that gives campaign support to veterans running for political office.

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The world has been waiting for a major philanthropy announcement from Jeff Bezos for over a year.

"The Day One foundation is going to be like that", he added, noting that the mission could evolve.

The comments appeared to be the first direct, public rebuke of Mr Trump by Mr Bezos, a frequent target of attacks by the President.

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The fund will also seek to launch and operate "a network of high-quality, full-scholarship, Montessori-inspired preschools in underserved communities", he wrote.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos plans to open and fund nursery schools in low income areas, promising that poor children would be treated like Amazon customers. Most important among those will be genuine, intense customer obsession. "But it is really unsafe to demonize the media". Go Gold boxes by Amazon are uniquely-designed packing boxes that feature a gold ribbon - the worldwide symbol of childhood cancer.

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.

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With a personal fortune of US$163.8 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, the Amazon chief executive officer had been largely invisible in the world of philanthropy.

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