Amazon’s Bezos unveils $2 billion philanthropic fund

Amazon’s Bezos unveils $2 billion philanthropic fund

Picture taken on April 20, 2018.

The Day 1 Families Fund will make annual awards to organizations "doing compassionate, needle moving work to provide shelter and hunger support to address the immediate needs of young families", while the Day 1 Academies Fund will start and operate a network of "full-scholarship, Montessori-inspired preschools in underserved communities", Bezos said.

Bezos made the announcement on Twitter a year after asking for ideas on how he could use his personal fortune - now estimated at more than $160 billion - for charitable efforts.

Bezos, who founded Amazon as an online book store more than two decades ago, has seen his wealth surge along with Amazon's stock.

Earlier this year, under pressure from Amazon and other large employers, Seattle's City Council repealed an employee head tax created to provide housing and services for the homeless.

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Earlier this year Amazon played a pivotal role in diminishing and ultimately defeating a Seattle business tax to fund homelessness services and affordable housing.

He has also been criticized for not contributing his fortune to philanthropy like other billionaires have, including Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Berkshire Hathaway's Warren Buffett.

More than a year ago, Bezos posted to Twitter a request for suggestions on philanthropic initiatives created to make a difference in the short term. The most notable involving more than $40 million United States to the local nonprofit FareStart - a hospitality training program and restaurant business that aims to combat homelessness and poverty - and Mary's Place, whose mission to find and provide shelter for every child.

Bezos and his wife MacKenzie Bezos sit on the board of the Bezos Family Foundation, run by his parents. "We will build an organization to directly operate these schools", he added.

Jeff Bezos, Amazon chief and the world's richest person, attended a board meeting in pyjamas on Wednesday and shared the new look on Instagram. This year, Gates also announced it was taking up systemic poverty in the U.S.

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