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

Bezos to launch network of preschools 'The child will be the customer'

Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com, said he would begin with an initial commitment of $2 billion to create what he called the Day One Fund. The fund will be split between Day 1 Families Fund and Day 1 Academies Fund.

For the homeless, grants will be given to organisations "doing compassionate, needle-moving work to provide shelter and hunger support to address the needs of young families", Bezos said on Twitter.

The Day 1 Families Fund will start an organisation to operate a new network of full-scholarship preschools for low-income communities.

The world's richest man made the announcement on Twitter a year after he asked for ideas on how he could use his personal fortune - estimated to be about $163bn (£124.34bn) - for charitable efforts. When discussing his charity work with the homeless and schools for children, Bezos said, "All of his best decisions have been made with heart and by trusting gut and instinct as opposed to just analysis".

Jeff Bezos, president and CEO of Amazon and owner of The Washington Post, speaks at the Economic Club of Washington DC's "Milestone Celebration Dinner" in Washington on September 13, 2018.

Insanely rich human being Jeff Bezos announced today his intention to do something he rarely ever does: philanthropy.

"We're hoping that local, state and federal governments see this as a call to invest more in preschool and childcare", he said.

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"I don't feel the need to defend Amazon", Bezos said. 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. In January, Bezos also personally gave $33 million United States in college scholarships for young immigrants living in the USA illegally.

He has also been criticized for not contributing his fortune to philanthropy like other billionaires have, including Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Berkshire Hathaway's Warren Buffett.

"I don't know how much I'm going to give away", he told economic club president David Rubenstein.

More than a year ago, Bezos posted to Twitter a request for suggestions on philanthropic initiatives created to make a difference in the short term.

The newspaper says Bezos has no involvement in its news coverage.

The Amazon chief's wealth has become problematic for some.

The comments appeared to be the first direct, public rebuke of Mr Trump by Mr Bezos, a frequent target of attacks by the President.

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