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Amazon's Jeff Bezos to start US$2 billion charitable fund
13 September 2018, 11:42 | Edward Lowe
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos walks onstage for the launch of the new Amazon Fire Phone in Seattle
They call their project the "Bezos Day One Fund".
To raise awareness about childhood cancer, which is the second leading cause of death in the United States between kids aged 4 and 14, Amazon'sJeff Bezos wore pajamas to a meeting on Wednesday.
Last year Mr Bezos solicited advice from the public via Twitter, asking how he could best use his wealth to help people "right now".
Bezos tweeted a statement Thursday that the fund will issue annual leadership awards to organizations "doing compassionate, needle-moving work to provide shelter and hunger support to address the immediate needs of young families".
The Day 1 Academics Fund plans to launch and operate a network of high-quality, free Montessori-inspired preschools in underserved communities. In addition to Amazon, my area of focus so far have included investment in the future of our planet and civilization through the development of foundational space infrastructure, support of American democracy through stewardship of the Washington Post, and financial contributions to the dedicated and innovative champions of a variety of causes, from cancer research, to marriage equality, to college scholarships for immigrant students, to decreasing political polarization through cross-partisan support of principles, next-generation military vets running for Congress.
"We will build an organisation to directly operate these schools".
Bezos, who founded Amazon as an online book store more than two decades ago, has seen his wealth surge along with Amazon's stock.
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.
Some analysts have suggested Amazon could face antitrust scrutiny over its growing power in the economy, and President Donald Trump has accused the company of taking advantage of the Postal Service, despite studies suggesting the internet giant's deal has been beneficial to the United States government postal operator.
Helping the homeless has also been a focus for Amazon.
Amazon has faced criticism for paying little in taxes, which stems in part from its historically low profits. 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.
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