Skip to main content

Jeff Bezos launches $2 billion fund to finance preschools and help homeless families

In a tweet this morning, Amazon founder (and the world’s richest man) Jeff Bezos announced that he and his wife were creating a $2 billion fund to finance a network of non-profit preschools and donate funds to organizations helping homeless families.

“The Day 1 Families Fund will issue annual leadership awards to organizations and civic groups doing compassionate, needle moving work to provide shelter and hunger support to address the immediate needs of young families,” Bezos writes in a statement.

There’s also a Day 1 Academies Fund which will launch a network of free, Montessori-inspired schools in low income neighborhoods.

Bezos said that the schools will employ the “same set of principles that have driven Amazon.” Which, for Bezos, means an intense focus on the customer.

The funds are called the “Day 1” funds because they align with Bezos’ stated philosophy of “maintaining a Day 1 mentality.”

Starting a network of free schools for underprivileged children and giving out money to help organizations that are working to alleviate the needs of the nation’s homeless are inarguably good things, but it’s unclear whether these individual steps can work to address more systemic problems that underly problems of homelessness and a lack of educational opportunity that exists more broadly in the country.

Perhaps Bezos was inspired to battle the nation’s homeless plight when he saw this report on Vickie Shannon Allen, an Amazon employee who became homeless after a workplace accident cost her her job.

It’s also a bit rich to see Bezos tackle the issue of homelessness after his company was the mustache twirling arch nemesis of a bill in Seattle that would have created a tax to finance homeless shelters and low income housing.

Fortune has more on Amazon’s work to kill the measure.

Amazon opposed the tax, originally floated at $500 a year for each of its Seattle employees. To signal its displeasure, the company halted construction on a new tower, and suggested it might sublet 722,000 square feet it had just leased in a signature downtown building. When the council approved a reduced $275 tax, Amazon restarted construction on the tower. But it also joined Starbucksand other local employers to fund a group, No Tax on Jobs, that raised over $300,000 to pay for signature gatherers for a referendum to repeal the head tax. In a statement after the vote, Amazon vice president Drew Herdener said, “Today’s vote by the Seattle City Council to repeal the tax on job creation is the right decision for the region’s economic prosperity.”

With the new fund, Bezos joins a long line of incredibly mega-rich people (cf. Chan-Zuckerberg and Gates Foundations… and Warren Buffett) who are taking it upon themselves to fund programs for social good.

It’s part of philanthropy’s long history of ignoring broader structural issues as a way for billionaires to treat their contributions as a gift rather than an obligation.

Here’s Bezo’s tweet announcing the new funds.



from TechCrunch https://ift.tt/2OivwaB

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Android blatantly copies the iPhone X navigation gestures

Google unveiled some of the new features in the next version of Android at its developer conference. One feature looked particularly familiar. Android P will get new navigation gestures to switch between apps. And it works just like the iPhone X.“As part of Android P, we’re introducing a new system navigation that we’ve been working on for more than a year now,” VP of Android Engineering Dave Burke said. “And the new design makes Android multitasking more approachable and easier to understand.”While Google has probably been working on a new multitasking screen for a year, it’s hard to believe that the company didn’t copy Apple. The iPhone X was unveiled in September 2017.On Android P, the traditional home, back and multitasking buttons are gone. There’s a single pill-shaped button at the center of the screen. If you swipe up from this button, you get a new multitasking view with your most recent apps. You can swipe left and right and select the app you’re looking for.If you swipe up o…

Square launches restaurant point-of-sale platform

Square, which has already made its way into retail stores and service-based businesses (think hair salons, massage therapists, etc), is officially getting into the restaurant business with the launch of Square for Restaurants. Square for Restaurants is a point-of-sale system that handles everything from menu updates, floor layouts, employee scheduling, performance tracking to tip splitting.Usually, restaurants have “some old legacy thing or something else,” Square Seller Lead Alyssa Henry told me.“Historically, we’ve not served this customer segment very well,” Henry said. “With Square for Restaurants, we’re excited to finally be able to serve this customer segment and deliver on a couple of key things that are core to Square but also highly valued by sellers of all types.”This new product is designed to be fast, self-serve, elegant and cohesive, Henry said. It also integrates seamlessly into Square’s existing ecosystem that includes Payroll, Capital and more. Given Square’s ownership…