Jeff Bezos Is Making a $2B Philanthropic Move

The money will go to help homeless families and establish free preschools
By Luke Roney,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 13, 2018 4:32 PM CDT
Jeff Bezos   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

(Newser) – Some 15 months ago, the richest person on Earth asked, via Twitter, for suggestions about how he can share the wealth. On Thursday, Jeff Bezos of Amazon tweeted his plan to commit $2 billion to what he's calling the Bezos Day One Fund, CNBC reports. The money will be divided between the Day 1 Family Fund, geared toward helping homeless families, and the Day 1 Academies Fund, which will open and operate "full-scholarship, Montessori-inspired preschools in under-served communities," according to Bezos' tweet. Going by Wednesday's closing price of $1,990 per share, Bezos will need to gift about 1 million shares of Amazon stock to meet the $2 billion commitment, Forbes reports, adding that he would be left with some 78 million shares of the company he founded.

CNBC notes that critics have been calling on Bezos, who has a net worth of about $150 billion, to be more philanthropic. While he and his family have given tens of millions of dollars to other causes, the Bezos Day One Fund will be "by far" Bezos' biggest act of philanthropy, per Forbes. Still, not everyone is impressed. Some people are using the announcement to take shots at Bezos over low pay and working conditions at Amazon. "Pay your employees a living wage. Let them go to the bathroom when they need to. Let them go to the hospital when they're bleeding profusely. Stop trying to take over every single industry," one woman tweeted. But the response from many is positive. "Why not acknowledge the good here? $2B can change a lot of lives," goes another tweet. (Read more Amazon stories.)

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