Wednesday, 26 September, 2018

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

Bezos Amazon board visiting Washington but no headquarters announcement planned Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos walks onstage for the launch of the new Amazon Fire Phone in Seattle
Guillermo Lane | 14 September, 2018, 06:43

It will begin with the commitment of $2 billion and focus on two areas: funding existing non-profits that help homeless families, and creating a network of new, non-profit, tier-one preschools in low-income communities.

With a little more than three months left in the year, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos says he still intends to announce a decision on where its second headquarters will be located before the new year.

For the homeless, grants will be given to organizations "doing compassionate, needle-moving work to provide shelter and hunger support to address the needs of young families", Bezos said. There will also be full scholarships for Montessori-inspired preschools in "underserved" communities, he said.

To raise awareness about childhood cancer, which is the second leading cause of death in the United States between kids aged 4 and 14, Amazon's Jeff Bezos wore pajamas to a meeting on Wednesday. Most important among those will be genuine, intense customer obsession.

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Mr Bezos, who operates the Blue Origin space rocket project and who owns the Washington Post newspaper, has given donations to a scheme to help the children of immigrants, cancer research, and Princeton University.

By choosing to focus his philanthropy on homelessness and early education, Bezos is likely influenced both by his parents's Bezos Family Foundation and by his adopted hometown of Seattle, however mixed some people there may feel about the city's growing affordability crisis that's been largely attributed to the success of Amazon. "It was only a matter of time before Bezos would join this new era of big philanthropy".

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

Zuckerberg, 34, and his wife Priscilla Chan said in 2015 that they planned to give away 99 per cent of their Facebook stock. Amazon warehouse employees are known to have bad working conditions, pitiful wages, and have even been forced into homelessness after workplace injuries. Some activists and politicians have partly blamed the city's problems on Amazon. 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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