Jeff Bezos launches $2 billion fund for homeless

Jeff Bezos launches $2 billion fund for homeless

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos says he is giving $2 billion U.S. to start a fund that will open preschools in low-income neighbourhoods and give money to non-profits that helps homeless families.

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

Bezos, whose stake in Amazon is worth about $160 billion United States, says that he'll call it the Bezos Day One Fund.

Amazon's main headquarters building in Seattle is also called Day 1.

An Amazon spokesman didn't have details on who would run Bezos' new initiative, or where the group would be based. "September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month", he wrote in an Instagram post shared about 10 hours ago, explaining that every year, Amazon ties up with the American Childhood Cancer Organisation to raise awareness of childhood cancer, which is the second leading cause of death for kids in the United States between ages 4 and 14.

The Bezos cash injection follows the philanthropic efforts of other billionaires including Microsoft's Bill Gates, who has donated tens of billions to his foundation.

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Bezos's wealth has allowed him to pay for side ventures, including starting space exploration company Blue Origin and buying the Washington Post newspaper.

Mr Bezos - reportedly worth more than $164bn - has faced criticism for not doing more philanthropic work. We will build an organization to directly operate these preschools.

Until now, Bezos has made only small initial steps into giving. How he would use that fortune for philanthropy has always been a point of discussion, especially after June 2017 when he solicited ideas on Twitter for ways he could make a difference.

Gates has also, with billionaire investor Warren Buffett, encouraged wealthy individuals to pledge half their fortunes to worthy causes.

Amazon has a history of supporting homeless programs in Seattle. In January, Bezos also personally gave $33 million United States in college scholarships for young immigrants living in the USA illegally.

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