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

16 September, 2018, 15:01 | Author: Mary Valdez
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With a personal fortune of US$163.8 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, the Amazon chief executive officer had been largely invisible in the world of philanthropy.

The Bezos Day One Fund will be made up of the Families Fund and the Academics Fund.

"It is really important that politicians and others, they need to understand the value that big companies bring in and not demonize or vilify business in general", Bezos said on Thursday evening at an Economic Club of Washington dinner.

"The media", Bezos added, "is going to be fine". But before we applaud the effort too enthusiastically, perhaps we should also look at who is perpetuating this poverty.

The fund will help organizations and shelters provide services for homeless families and will put money toward building a network of free Montessori-like schools for underprivileged communities.

And if an issue presents itself in the late afternoon, Bezos usually will hold off on convening a meeting about it until the next day.

In 2010, Buffett and Gates created the Giving Pledge, which calls on billionaires to pledge the majority of their wealth to charity.

Now, with Amazon's stock soaring to an all-time high - the company recently breached the $1 trillion market cap - Jeff, who owns more than 17 percent of the company, was nearly compelled to act.

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Mr Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon and owner of the Washington Post newspaper, warned on Thursday (Sept 13) that President Donald Trump's attacks on the media are risky for the country.

Mr Bezos and Amazon have also faced criticism in Seattle for not doing more to help the needy, and have become focal points in the booming region's angry debate about traffic, housing prices and homelessness.

Last year, he donated $33 million to fund scholarship for "dreamers", the name given to undocumented children of immigrants who face legal obstacles in attending college or university.

Interestingly, the fund comes more than a year after Jeff sought out public opinion on Twitter on ways to utilise his wealth.

But declined to offer specifics on how much of his fortune he would donate, suggesting that he may address societal problems through philanthropy or profit-making businesses like his Blue Origin space firm.

"By 5 p.m., I'm like, 'I can't think about that today".

Amazon has a history of supporting homeless programs in Seattle.

Sawant is referring to the Seattle head tax that the Seattle City Council adopted and then repealed a month later.

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