Published: Fri, September 14, 2018
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

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

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

Bezos hinted earlier this year that he would take on a major philanthropic project after asking his Twitter followers for ideas on how to give away his money.

On Thursday, Jeff Bezos of Amazon tweeted his plan to commit $2 billion to what he's calling the Bezos Day One Fund, CNBC reports.

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.

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To raise awareness about childhood cancer, which is the second leading cause of death in the U.S. between kids aged 4 and 14, Amazon's Jeff Bezos wore pajamas to a meeting on Wednesday. Citing the Amazon mantra of customer obsession, Bezos said in a tweet, "The child will be the customer."

"I'm thinking I want much of my philanthropic activity to be helping people in the here and now-short term-at the intersection of urgent need and lasting impact", he wrote at the time. The missive set off a frenzy of responses from every corner of the world, including pleas to support health care, loan forgiveness and even offbeat appeals to back a leather fetish museum in Chicago. Outside of that, Bezos and his family's known donations have included gifts to Princeton University and Seattle's Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy. 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. 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. Amazon is designating 47,000 square feet of space at its new corporate office for a permanent Mary's Place shelter. When Seattle passed a tax in May on large companies to fight the city's growing homelessness crisis, Amazon balked and even temporarily halted construction planning on a new high-rise building near its headquarters.

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