LOCAL NEWS

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos spending $2 billion on homelessness, education

Sep 13, 2018, 11:22 AM | Updated: 11:51 am
ceo pay, jeff bezos, Amazon...
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. (File, Associated Press)
(File, Associated Press)

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced Thursday that he is putting $2 billion toward homelessness issues and early childhood education.

RELATED: Amazon, Walmart employees on list of top food stamp users

“I think this is a complicated alchemy of psychology for Jeff Bezos,” Geekwire’s Todd Bishop told KIRO Radio. “I think he was going to get to this point eventually. I think the public pressure, the status as the richest person in the history of the world, and some of the battles Amazon has had locally over the issues of homelessness and the head tax got him there faster than he otherwise would have.”

Via his tweet Thursday morning, Bezos announced his next philanthropic effort — a plan to fund charitable causes through the Bezos Day 1 Fund. A total of $2 billion will be targeted at two focus areas: non-profits that help homeless families; and a network of new, non-profit, tier-one preschools in low-income communities.

The focus areas include:

  • The Day 1 Fund will provide annual grants to civic groups doing “compassionate, needle-moving work to provide shelter and hunger support to address the immediate needs of young families.”
  • The schools will be “Montessori inspired” and the fund will build an organization to directly operate the preschools.

“They are going to create their own infrastructure to operate these preschools and preschool networks in underprivileged areas around the country,” Bishop said. “So you can see that he is looking to essentially apply some of that Amazon-style innovation and creative thinking.”

The vision statement for the fund comes from Mary’s Place in Seattle – “No child sleeps outside.”

“Jeff Bezos feels that through things like Mary’s Place and other non-profits, there is an existing infrastructure in place that just needs more funding,” he said. “Whereas if you look at the education announcement, he’s saying that not only do these initiatives need more money, they need somebody to tell them how to do it better. That is where I think you are going to see his creative energy going; to come up with ideas to better educate kids.”

“I think certainly the focus on homeless families is directly related to what Jeff Bezos has learned from a partnership with, and funding of Mary’s Place,” he added.

The Bezos Day 1 Fund stems from the CEO’s “Day 1” theme which promotes maintaining a startup-like attitude. One of Amazon’s office towers in Seattle is called the Day 1 building.

“I think it is no coincidence that he is calling it the Day 1 Fund,” Bishop said. “That is his mantra that you need to look at every day with fresh eyes as if you are just starting out in business, and bring that kind of energy and insight to these kinds of initiatives.”

In June 2017, Bezos asked Twitter users for suggestions on philanthropic organizations. He said earlier this year that he would announce which causes he will focus on by the end of the summer.

“It fills me with gratitude and optimism to be part of a species so bent on self-improvement,” Bezos tweeted.

Local News

fall city...
KIRO 7 News Staff

Two dead after tree crushes car in Fall City

Two people are dead after a tree fell on a car in Fall City on Sunday afternoon, according to Eastside Fire and Rescue.
21 hours ago
Paine Field...
Kathryn Altena

Paine Field recertified as ‘Salmon Safe’ by Oregon based nonprofit

Paine Field was recently recertified as "Salmon Safe" by an Oregon based environmental nonprofit, after first earning the certification in 2019.
21 hours ago
covid...
MyNorthwest Staff

UW Medicine study seeks local participants to understand COVID spread

UW Medicine invites Washington state residents up to age 85 to submit a survey about their exposure to COVID during the pandemic as part of a study.
2 days ago
Amazon...
MyNorthwest Staff

Amazon hiring for more than 500 positions at new sort center in Fife

A new Amazon facility in Fife, Washington, that's set to open later this month has starting hiring for more than 500 positions.
2 days ago
hospitals...
Nicole Jennings

Rural Eastern Washington hospitals say no big losses in staffing post-vaccine mandate

Some of the rural Eastern Washington hospitals that were expected to have big losses after the vaccine mandate say things are going well.
2 days ago
Climate Pledge Arena...
Associated Press

Climate Pledge Arena ready to get Kraken for hockey debut

The first event ever inside Climate Pledge Arena — whether it will be considered the official first event or not — was far from a soft opening.
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Medicare open enrollment for 2022 starts Oct. 15 and SHIBA can help!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]
...

How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
...
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
...
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
...
Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for both lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.
...
Comcast

Small, Minority-Owned Businesses in King County and Pierce County Can Now Apply For $10,000 Relief Grants Through Comcast RISE

Businesses in King County and Pierce County can apply beginning on October 1, 2021, at www.ComcastRISE.com for a chance to receive a $10,000 relief grant.
Amazon’s Jeff Bezos spending $2 billion on homelessness, education