Jeff Bezos launches $2-billion fund to help homeless families, build preschools

Sources News reports and announcements

Sources News reports and announcements

The initiative will be called the Bezos Day One Fund, borrowing from Amazon's corporate mantra to approach tasks with the initiative of a startup's first day.

Within this, the "Day 1 Families Fund" will support existing non-profit organizations that offer shelter and food to young homeless families.

The Day 1 Academies Fund will launch and operate a network of high-quality, full-scholarship, Montessori-inspired preschools in underserved communities.

Amazon chief Jeff Bezos is putting $2bn (£1.5bn) into a charitable fund he has established to help the homeless and set up a new network of schools.

Citing the Amazon mantra of customer obsession, Bezos said in a tweet "the child will be the customer". "The child will be the customer".

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Bezos solicited ideas on Twitter previous year for ways to donate some of his wealth. At the time, he said he was interested in projects that address urgent need but also produce lasting impact.

More than a year after putting out an open call for suggestions about what to do with his spectacular wealth, Jeff Bezos has come back with a decision.

Amazon has said the senator's statements about the company are "inaccurate and misleading". Public donations by the 54-year-old Bezos have been rare, and - with exceptions like a $35 million family donation to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center - typically on a scale far smaller than the two men just behind him in the wealth rankings, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Berkshire Hathaway's Warren Buffett.

The Bezos Family Foundation, best known for supporting children's education, has been largely funded by his parents from Amazon holdings they acquired as early investors in their son's enterprise.

In places like China and the Middle East, where public acts of charity are less common, the wealthy are starting to formalise their giving. While his and Amazon investors' wealth increases-and the company's market capitalization approaches $1 trillion-what makes the business so efficient is that relies on automation and low-priced labor. Amazon's digital assistant Alexa has helped drive its hardware sales and is used on smart devices ranging from cars to refrigerators. 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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