Jeff Bezos is donating money to fix a problem his company perpetuates

Jeff Bezos is donating money to fix a problem his company perpetuates

Bezos, the world's richest person, announced the launch of the "Day One Fund", which will begin with a commitment of $2 billion and will focus on two areas: funding existing nonprofits that help homeless families and creating a network of nonprofit, tier-one preschools in low-income communities.

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 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.

Mr Bezos asked on Twitter last year for suggestions on how he might use his personal fortune, which this year has soared due to Amazon's surging share price and United States tax cuts.

The fund will also launch a network of "full scholarship" preschools based in underserved communities. Bezos' relative silence was a stark contrast to peers like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett who have given away tens of billions.

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Along with running Amazon the tech mogul owns space exploration company Blue Origin and the Washington Post newspaper.

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.

Helping the homeless has also been a focus for Amazon.

In the past, Bezos has made political contributions, but not of this magnitude. When Seattle passed a tax in May on large companies to fight the city's growing homelessness crisis, Amazon balked and even temporarily halted construction planning on a new high-rise building near its headquarters. The Bezos Family Foundation, which is best known for its support of children's education, has been largely funded by his parents from Amazon holdings they acquired as early investors in their son's enterprise.

Last year, he donated $33 million to fund scholarship for "dreamers", the name given to undocumented children of immigrants who face legal obstacles in attending college or university.

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