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Kshama Sawant responds to Jeff Bezos' $2 billion charitable fund
14 September 2018, 03:56 | Ross Houston
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos walks onstage for the launch of the new Amazon Fire Phone in Seattle
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos on Wednesday announced a new $2 billion philanthropic fund to finance a new network of preschools and contribute to nonprofits assisting homeless families.
The fund will issue annual leadership awards to organizations and civic groups doing work to "move the needle" in providing hunger and shelter support to young families.
The "Day 1 Academies Fund" will start an organization to operate a new network of full-scholarship pre-schools for low-income communities.
Bezos, with an estimated fortune of more than $160 billion, is now the world's wealthiest man, according to Forbes. Earlier this year, the company partnered with the Seattle nonprofit Mary's Place to build a permanent homeless shelter in its headquarters.
He also operates the private space exploration firm Blue Origin and owns The Washington Post newspaper.
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"Another way we're raising awareness is through our special #GoGold boxes - you may receive one during September", he added.
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.
It also falls short of the "giving pledge" initiative launched by Gates and billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who have encouraged wealthy individuals to pledge half their fortunes for philanthropy. An Amazon.com Inc. spokeswoman said the $2 billion will all come from Bezos. In January, Bezos also personally gave $33 million USA in college scholarships for young immigrants living in the U.S. illegally.
Launched in 1994 as an online bookseller, Amazon has become a retail powerhouse operating globally, and has expanded into streaming video, music, cloud computing and other segments, and previous year acquired the Whole Foods grocery chain.
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.
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