Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos launches a $2 bln philanthropic fund

Sources News reports and announcements

Sources News reports and announcements

And earlier this year, under pressure from Amazon and other large employers, Seattle's city council repealed an employee head tax that would have funded housing and services for the homeless.

While communities across the country earned looks from Amazon, the D.C. region has always been viewed as a favorite to earn Amazon's new headquarters after the company listed Northern Virginia, Maryland and D.C. among its 20 finalists in January.

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

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is to launch a $2bn (£1.53bn) fund to help homeless families and launch pre-schools in poor communities.

The fund will also seek to launch and operate "a network of high-quality, full-scholarship, Montessori-inspired preschools in underserved communities", he wrote. The vision statement comes from the inspiring Mary's Place in Seattle: no child sleeps outside. We'll use the same set of principles that have driven Amazon.

Citing the Amazon mantra of customer obsession, Bezos said in a tweet "the child will be the customer".

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos plans to open and fund nursery schools in low income areas, promising that poor children would be treated like Amazon customers.

The announcement, made through a statement from Bezos, comes after the executive reached out previous year to ask for suggestions on approaches to philanthropy.

His net worth has risen by US$64.7 billion this year alone as Amazon's shares surged.

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

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

The staggering fortunes of the likes of Bezos, Gates and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg have created a second Gilded Age in the United States and "a new generation of megagivers", Callahan said.

Gates did not fully throw himself into philanthropy until he stepped down as CEO of Microsoft in 2000.

He said he did not know how much money he would eventually give away. Zuckerberg's shares in the social network are now valued at about US$61 billion.

Geek Wire reports that as part of Childhood Cancer Awareness month, Amazon has also rolled out a specially branded Prime Air jet and made charitable donations to two institutions working toward better awareness of childhood cancer. While his and Amazon investors' wealth increases-and the company's market capitalization approaches $1 trillion-what makes the business so efficient is that relies on automation and low-priced labor. In 2016, it renovated a vacant hotel on land designated for its new headquarters so it could be used temporarily by the nonprofit group Mary's Place to give shelter to 200 homeless families.

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