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


Amazon CEO and world's richest man Jeff Bezos has invoked Twitter wrath for seemingly an all-around commendable cause - setting up a charity fund to fight homelessness and create a preschool network for the underprivileged.

The new "Bezos Day One Fund" is the result; it'll work to issue "awards" to existing nonprofits that provide shelter and food to homeless young families.

The other part will launch and operate free preschools in low-income communities, where "the child will be the customer". Amazon's Jeff Bezos attended a board meeting in pajamas to raise awareness about childhood cancer, which is the second leading cause of death in the USA between kids aged 4 and 14. 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.

The Washington Posts top editor has said that Mr. Bezos has no involvement in its news coverage.

And taking a look at social media, it's not Bezos alone.

The foundation stepped up to help Seattle when the city worked to launch its universal pre-K program in 2014.

Helping the homeless has also been a focus for Amazon.

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As with most investment decisions by the Amazon founder, this one was likely grounded in data and science. Increasingly, the wealthy want to see their charitable giving put to work on immediate needs.

Many Twitter users agreed with that reasoning. "If billionaires like Bezos were properly taxed then we wouldn't need billionaires like Bezos to sweep in and "rescue" people failed by our underfunded systems," one wrote.

The private non-profit foundation in its 2016 tax filing reported almost $46 million U.S. in assets, and giving away $30 million USA in grants support its missions in early education, K-12 schools reform and youth leadership development and scholarships.

Zuckerberg, 34, and his wife Priscilla Chan said in 2015 that they planned to give away 99 per cent of their Facebook stock.

Michael Bloomberg, the owner of Bloomberg LP, parent of Bloomberg News, also is a signatory.

Launched in 1994 as an online bookseller, Amazon has become a retail powerhouse operating globally, and has expanded into streaming video, music, cloud computing and other segments, and a year ago acquired the Whole Foods grocery chain. Earlier this year, the company partnered with the Seattle nonprofit Mary's Place to build a permanent homeless shelter in its headquarters.