Published: Fri, September 14, 2018
Research | By Jody Lindsey

Amazon's CEO Starts $2 Billion Fund for Schools, Homeless

Amazon's CEO Starts $2 Billion Fund for Schools, Homeless

Bezos is the world's richest person, with an estimated worth of $164 billion. An Amazon spokesperson confirmed that the money will all come from Bezos, though there are few details about how the fund will operate.

The fund will be split between Day 1 Families Fund and Day 1 Academies Fund. "September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month", he wrote in an Instagram post shared about 10 hours ago, explaining that every year, Amazon ties up with the American Childhood Cancer Organisation to raise awareness of childhood cancer, which is the second leading cause of death for kids in the U.S. between ages 4 and 14.

It's not yet known what his preschools will look like except that they will be based on the teaching philosophy of Maria Montessori, which focuses on play-based learning that caters to individuality and social-emotional development. It is a contrast to the long view that Bezos has preached at Amazon and Blue Origin, the space-travel technology company he has been funding with $1 billion a year through the sale of Amazon stock.

The new philanthropic effort is called the Bezos Day One Fund, a nod to the executive's management philosophy that organizations must view every day with the fervor of a new start, or face stagnation and decline.

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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. City leaders quickly rescinded the levy.

So, Jeff, from one member of the human species to another, I implore you to not only engage in philanthropy but also try to understand how you can fix Amazon's problems to set a better example. The vision statement comes from the inspiring Mary's Place in Seattle: no child sleeps outside. We will build an organization to directly operate these preschools.

In the past, Bezos has made political contributions, but not of this magnitude. In January, Bezos also personally gave $33 million USA in college scholarships for young immigrants living in the U.S. illegally.

It also falls short of the "giving pledge" initiative launched by Gates and billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who have encouraged wealthy individuals to pledge half their fortunes for philanthropy. September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month and each year Amazon partners with @ACCOrg to raise awareness of childhood cancer - second leading cause of death for kids in the USA between ages 4 and 14.

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