Amazon’s Jeff Bezos launches US$2 billion fund to help the homeless

Cornelia Mascio
Settembre 14, 2018

Jeff Bezos and his wife MacKenzie Bezos launched a US$2 billion fund to help homeless families and create a network of non-profit preschools in low-income communities.

"If our own great-grandchildren don't have lives better than ours, something has gone very wrong", Bezos wrote on Twitter announcing the fund. The Amazon CEO began crowdfunding ideas on how to spend his considerable wealth back in June, and the lack of specific details, from him or his team, suggests the Day 1 Fund announcement is less a honest move into philanthropy than another salvo in Amazon's ongoing charm offensive - which famously involved astroturfed PR bought with gift cards.

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

The fund will be split between Day 1 Families Fund and Day 1 Academies Fund.

Despite his fortune, Bezos has not been a major philanthropic donor and Amazon has been criticized in its home of Seattle, Washington, for doing little to address problems of the growing homeless population.

But in the world of ultra-rich tech philanthropists, it's roughly on par with other do-gooding efforts.

What Mr. Trump "should say [of criticism] is, 'This is right, this is good".

There will also be full scholarships for Montessori-inspired preschools in "underserved" communities, he said. Go Gold boxes by Amazon are special packing boxes adorned with a gold ribbon - the global symbol of childhood cancer. After discussing the success of the Washington Post, which Bezos bought in 2013, Rubinstein asked how Bezos responds to criticism - some of which comes from Trump's Twitter feed - of Amazon and the Post. But it's really risky to demonize the media.

He said he was supporting "American democracy through stewardship of the Washington Post" and pointed to the contributions he has given to cancer research, marriage equality and college scholarships for immigrant students.

"Another way we're raising awareness is through our special #GoGold boxes - you may receive one during September", he added. The child will be the customer.

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.

Earlier this month, US Democratic senator Bernie Sanders proposed a bill in Congress called the "Stop BEZOS" Act, which would make large corporations pay workers more or pay for public assistance programs such as Medicaid.

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