Jeff Bezos Pledges $2 Billion Toward Education and Homelessness

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More than a year after putting out an open call for suggestions about what to do with his spectacular wealth, Jeff Bezos has come back with a decision.

Bezos said the Day 1 Family Fund would issue grants every year to groups and organizations that provide shelter and food to young families in need. There will also be full scholarships for Montessori-inspired preschools in "underserved" communities, he said. Some activists and politicians have partly blamed the city's problems on Amazon. The Seattle-based initiative led by the Microsoft co-founder and his wife launched with $20 billion in 2000 when Gates was 45 years old.

Trump has referred to the Washington Post as Amazon's "chief lobbyist".

Bezos, whose net worth is estimated at about $164 billion, has been criticized for not doing more to support charities, the way other billionaires have, such as Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Mark Zuckerberg. City leaders quickly rescinded the levy.

Employees at Amazon followed Jeff Bezos example and also started 'PJammin'. The vision statement comes from the inspiring Mary's Place in Seattle: no child sleeps outside.

"He's a pretty awesome neighbour, him and [his wife] MacKenzie", said Mary's Place director Marty Hartman.

In the education realm, Bezos is tipping his hat to the intensely private and media-shy Bezos Family Foundation that is run by his parents.

Mr Bezos, who operates the Blue Origin space rocket project and who owns the Washington Post newspaper, has given donations to a scheme to help the children of immigrants, cancer research, and Princeton University. "I know what Amazon could do when we were 10 people and I know what we could do when we were 1,000 and I know what we could do when we were 10,000, and I know what we could do the day when we are a half a million", he added. "It was a Day 1 outlook that made me reach out to ask for suggestions on approaches to philanthropy previous year".

Earlier this month, US Democratic senator Bernie Sanders proposed a bill in Congress called the "Stop BEZOS" Act, which would make large corporations pay workers more or pay for public assistance programs such as Medicaid.

While the online retail giant's presence made Seattle the fastest-growing big city in the U.S., it also has taken a toll on its residents, driving up rent prices, clogging traffic and overwhelming public transportation.