With cuts in recent years to government preschool program Head Start, and more of the program’s funds on the chopping block in Washington, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has decided to devote $2 billion to benefit homeless families and education.
Alongside mounting pressures on the Seattle billionaire to pay his workers more money, he has this week, along with his wife, MacKenzie, committed a fraction of his wealth to serving low income families with the creation of the “Day 1 Fund”.
The philanthropic effort will divide its money between the Day 1 Families Fund, which will help homeless families, and the Day 1 Academics Fund, which will create a “network of new, non-profit, tier-one preschools in low-income communities.” They will be Montessori-inspired, and free to underserved families.
“By so many important measures the world keeps getting better, (but)… if our own great grandchildren don’t have lives better than ours, something has gone very wrong,” wrote Bezos, who also owns the Washington Post.
Last year he solicited ideas on Twitter for ways he could make a difference with his estimated $164 billion fortune.
“I want to thank everyone who sent me [charity] suggestions, and for the inspiring examples of innovation I see every day, large and small. It fills me with gratitude and optimism to be part of a species so bent on self-improvement.”
There were no other details announced regarding how the funding will be used, but some are speculating that he will use it to mitigate homelessness in Seattle, where Amazon fought to defeat a proposed tax that would have helped the city raise money to pay for homeless services.
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