Tuesday, 25 September, 2018

Amazon's Jeff Bezos commits $2 billion to help homeless, pre-schools

Eleanor Moreno | 14 September, 2018, 12:12

The second will operate a network of high-quality, full-scholarship Montessori-inspired preschools.

Along with running Amazon the tech mogul owns space exploration company Blue Origin and the Washington Post newspaper.

"As an individual commitment, $2 billion is pretty high but it's not in the league of a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation", which a year ago had a $50.7 billion endowment, said Kyle Caldwell, executive director of the Johnson Center for Philanthropy at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

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.

When asked about it, Bezos called it a "mistake" for any elected official to "attack media and journalists".

His private ownership of The Washington Post, which has published articles critical of the White House, has also put him at odds with US President Donald Trump.

Many were eager to hear any hint of where Bezos had made a decision to put Amazon's second headquarters, with multiple locations in the Washington region in contention. I'm glad I'm being scrutinized.' That would be so secure and confident.


Demonising the media and calling them "the enemies of the people" is unsafe, Bezos said. It's unsafe to call the media low-lifes. Bezos offered no hint of his leanings in the interview but said the company will announce a location this year. "It is risky to call the media lowlifes, it is unsafe to say that they are the enemy of the people".

"The customer is going to be the child", Bezos said. We're going to be obsessively, compulsively focused on the child. The 54-year-old CEO said his team curated more than 47,000 responses and homelessness and education emerged as issues important to large numbers of people, including himself.

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

The private non-profit foundation in its 2016 tax filing reported almost $46 million United States in assets, and giving away $30 million USA in grants support its missions in early education, K-12 schools reform and youth leadership development and scholarships.

Bezos, with an estimated fortune of more than $160 billion, is now the world's wealthiest man, according to Forbes.

This article was written by Christian Davenport and Abha Bhattarai, reporters for The Washington Post.

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