Jeff Bezos launches $2 billion fund for homeless

Jeff Bezos launches $2 billion fund for homeless

The Amazon founder, the world's wealthiest person, said Thursday on Twitter that he would commit $2 billion to fund existing nonprofits working to help homeless families and create a network of nonprofit preschools in low-income communities.

Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon, just made a long-awaited announcement about what philanthropic causes would benefit from his enormous fortune - which has doubled in one year and is now estimated at more than $160 billion.

The Bezos Day One Fund will issue annual awards to organizations 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".

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Bezos, whose stake in Amazon is worth about $160 billion USA, says that he'll call it the Bezos Day One Fund. Citing the Amazon mantra of customer obsession, Bezos said in a tweet here: "The child will be the customer". "In the caption, he wrote, "September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month", he further wrote that Amazon employees around the globe will be wearing pjs to work to show their solidarity and support to children suffering from the deadly disease". He has not signed on to the Giving Pledge, and the Bezos Family Foundation is reportedly run by his parents; Bezos does not play an active role.

The staggering fortunes of the likes of Bezos, Gates and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg have created a second Gilded Age in the USA and "a new generation of megagivers", Callahan said.

An Amazon spokesperson confirmed that the money will all come from Bezos, though there are few details about how the fund will operate.

With a personal fortune of $163.8 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, the Amazon.com Inc. chief executive officer had previously been largely invisible in the world of philanthropy. It also comes as tech giants like Amazon face the threat of tougher regulations to protect consumer privacy and complaints from the Republican-controlled Congress and White House over alleged liberal bias influencing how their offerings are presented to consumers. Earlier this year, the company partnered with the Seattle nonprofit Mary's Place to build a permanent homeless shelter in its headquarters.

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