Jeff Bezos launches $2-billion fund to help homeless families, build preschools

Jeff Bezos launches $2-billion fund to help homeless families, build preschools

Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com Inc.'s founder and the world's richest person, on Thursday said he will commit $2 billion to helping homeless families and starting pre-schools for low-income communities.

Jeff Bezos, Chairman and CEO of Amazon, speaks at the George W. Bush Presidential Center's Forum on Leadership in Dallas, Texas, U.S., April 20, 2018.

In a post to his Twitter account, Bezos said one part of the fund will give money to organizations and groups that provide shelter and food to young homeless families.

The fund will also launch and operate a network of high-quality Montessori-inspired preschools in underserved communities.

Bezos's fortune comes mainly from his stake in Amazon, the diversified online firm which briefly hit $1 trillion in market value this month and is the second most valuable company after Apple.

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Bezos has yet to join "The Giving Pledge" created by fellow billionaires Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett, whose more than 180 signatories have promised to give more than half of their fortunes to philanthropy. Since March 2016, Amazon customers have also been able to order items from the Mary's Place's wishlist on the site, such as diapers and socks.

Bezos's wealth has allowed him to pay for side ventures, including starting space exploration company Blue Origin and buying the Washington Post newspaper.

The fight soured many more locals on Amazon and Bezos, and also overshadowed the growing portfolio of philanthropy they had done in the city.

"We will build an organisation to directly operate these schools".

In the past, Bezos has made political contributions, but not of this magnitude. How he would use that fortune for philanthropy has always been a point of discussion, especially after June 2017 when he solicited ideas on Twitter for ways he could make a difference. The Seattle-based Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as the world's largest private nonprofit foundation has an endowment worth over $40 billion United States and has long supported homelessness services for families in the city.

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