Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos create $2 billion fund to fight homelessness


The Bezos Day One Fund will contribute to "existing non-profit organisations that help homeless families" and also fund "a network of new, non-profit, tier-one pre-schools in low-income communities", he wrote.

Jeff Bezos, Chairman and CEO of Amazon, speaks at the George W. Bush Presidential Center's Forum on Leadership in Dallas, Texas, U.S., April 20, 2018.

The Day 1 Academics Fund plans to launch and operate a network of high-quality, free Montessori-inspired preschools in underserved communities.

A spokeswoman for Amazon did not offer further details on the new project. We will build an organization to directly operate these preschools. Since March 2016, Amazon customers have also been able to order items from the Mary's Place's wishlist on the site, such as diapers and socks. 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 Thursday as an "investment in the future of our planet through the development of foundational space infrastructure". Bezos' relative silence was a stark contrast to peers like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett who have given away tens of billions.

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Some 15 months ago, the richest person on Earth asked, via Twitter, for suggestions about how he can share the wealth.

Despite his fortune, Bezos has not been a major philanthropic donor and Amazon has been criticized in its home of Seattle, Washington, for doing little to address problems of the growing homeless population.

Bezos made the announcement Thursday in a tweet and a post on his Instagram account. In January, Bezos also personally gave $33 million USA in college scholarships for young immigrants living in the U.S. illegally.

The fight soured many more locals on Amazon and Bezos, and also overshadowed the growing portfolio of philanthropy they had done in the city. As per the current Giving Pledge signatory, Bezos is not participating. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is a massive philanthropic initiative tackling issues such as infectious diseases and improving education.