Bezos announces 40 grants worth $123 million aimed at tackling homelessness

Jeff Bezos, in his bid to give away a major chunk of his wealth away, has now awarded 40 grants as part of his Bezos Day 1 Families Fund initiative. The Amazon founder made the announcement of Tuesday in an Instagram post. The donations are part of a $2 billion total commitment to combat homelessness.

A week back, Bezos had told CNN that he plans to donate majority of his $124 billion wealth. He aims to make most of the contribution to fight climate change and supporting people who can unify humanity in the face of deep social and political divisions. 

Bezos had previously faced criticism for not signing the Giving Pledge under which the world’s richest people promise to donate the majority of their wealth to charitable causes. However, Bezos went a step ahead and talked about “figuring out how to do it in a levered way.”

“It’s not easy. Building Amazon was not easy. It took a lot of hard work, a bunch of very smart teammates, hard-working teammates, and I’m finding — and I think Lauren is finding the same thing — that charity, philanthropy, is very similar,” he had told CNN in an exclusive interview.

“There are a bunch of ways that I think you could do ineffective things, too,” he added. “So you have to think about it carefully and you have to have brilliant people on the team.”

Last week, Bezos and his partner Lauren Sánchez had honoured Dolly Parton with their Courage & Civility Award. It is accompanied with a $100 million grant that Parton can use towards her philanthropic efforts. 

Chef Jose Andrés and climate advocate and CNN contributor Van Jones have also been given similar monetary grants. Andrés has spent some of the money making meals for Ukrainians. His ex-wife Mackenzie Scott is also giving away another $2 billion to various organizations, and has already given away nearly $4 billion to 465 organizations within a year.

(With inputs from agencies)

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