Amazon’s Jeff Bezos unveils $2 bn fund for homeless, others

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The "Day 1 Academies Fund" will start an organization to operate a new network of full-scholarship pre-schools for low-income communities. Bezos said the network will give the organization the opportunity "to learn, invent and improve", using the same principals that have driven Amazon's growth.

Bezos, whose stake in Amazon is worth about $160 billion USA, says that he'll call it the Bezos Day One Fund.

A spokeswoman for Amazon did not offer further details on the new project.

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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. The following week, Bezos will speak at the Air Force Association conference in National Harbor, an appearance tied to his rocket company, Blue Origin.

The Bezos cash injection follows the philanthropic efforts of other billionaires including Microsoft's Bill Gates, who has donated tens of billions to his foundation.

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. Earlier this year, the company partnered with the Seattle nonprofit Mary's Place to build a permanent homeless shelter in its headquarters.

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Bezos solicited ideas on Twitter past year for ways to donate some of his wealth.

In the past, Bezos has made political contributions, but not of this magnitude.

The $2bn also falls short of the "giving pledge" initiative launched by Mr Gates and billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who have encouraged wealthy individuals to pledge half their fortunes for philanthropy.

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So, Jeff, from one member of the human species to another, I implore you to not only engage in philanthropy but also try to understand how you can fix Amazon's problems to set a better example. In January, Bezos also personally gave $33 million United States in college scholarships for young immigrants living in the USA illegally.

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