Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos launches $2B fund for homeless, low-income families

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is giving billions to a fund that will focus on helping homeless families and creating preschools for low-income communities.

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.

The announcement, made through a statement from Bezos, comes after the executive reached out last year to ask for suggestions on approaches to philanthropy.

The fund will issue annual leadership awards to organizations and civic groups doing work to “move the needle” in providing hunger and shelter support to young families. The fund will also launch and operate a network of high-quality Montessori-inspired preschools in underserved communities.

Bezos had previously been critiqued for not making his philanthropic mark like other billionaires, including Warren Buffett and Bill Gates. In August 2010, 40 of America’s wealthiest individuals and couples joined together in a “Giving Pledge,” which was a commitment spearheaded by Bill and Melinda Gates and Buffet for these wealthy individuals to give away more than half of their wealth. As per the current Giving Pledge signatory, Bezos is not participating.