Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ Day 1 Families Fund has awarded $7.5 million in grants to two Hawaii NGOs.
On Oahu, Family Promise of Hawaii received $2.5 million, This contribution has become the organization’s largest private donation to date. Maui’s largest homeless shelter provider, Ka Hale A Ke Ola Homeless Resource Centers, received a $5 million award.
According to the most recent federal data, one in every thirty young children in Hawaii experiences homelessness each year. According to state data, nearly 3,200 Hawaii public school students were homeless last year.
According to Ryan Catalani, executive director of Family Promise of Hawaii, the grant will be utilized to provide temporary housing for needy families as well as case management and other wrap-around assistance. Thousands of homeless families have been served by the NGOs, allowing them to rapidly return to permanent housing.
Gov-elect Josh Green stated that this is a step forward in addressing these concerns and establishing a cabinet to address the state’s housing and homelessness issues. As well as both the governor-elect and Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi have pledged to work together to address Hawaii’s housing crisis. Both stressed the importance of increasing house inventory and cracking down on illicit holiday rentals.
Earlier Jeff Bezos had promised to give away the majority of his wealth and had donated $123 million.
The Amazon founder announced on Instagram that he had just awarded 40 grants under his Bezos Day 1 Families Fund initiative, which he began in 2018. The contributions are part of a total commitment of $2 billion to tackle homelessness.
Jeff also stated that he will spend the majority of his fortune combating climate change and supporting people who can bring mankind together in the face of significant social and political conflicts.
That was the first time the billionaire disclosed plans to give up the majority of his wealth. Critics have previously chastised Bezos for refusing to sign the Giving Pledge, a pledge signed by hundreds of the world’s wealthiest people to contribute the majority of their fortunes to charity organizations.
Bezos went beyond the Giving Pledge, saying that giving away his fortune is 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. There are a bunch of ways that I think you could do ineffective things, too. So you have to think about it carefully and you have to have brilliant people on the team,” said Jeff Bezos.
Bezos and his partner, Lauren Sánchez, also made waves by bestowing the Courage & Civility Award to Dolly Parton, which comes with a $100 million donation for Parton’s charity work. Similar scholarships have been given to chef Jose Andrés, who has used some of the money to feed Ukrainians and climate activists.
The Salvation Army, Denver Metro Area, Mother Nation: Honoring the Beauty and Strength of Native Families in Seattle, and Homeless Alliance in Oklahoma City are among the groups funded by Bezos in this round of grants.
The Bezos family fund has given approximately $520 million to 167 organizations in the United States.
A press release from the organization said, “With these funds, the organizations will continue their compassionate, needle-moving work to help families move from unsheltered homelessness and shelters to permanent housing with the services they require to achieve stability.”
Contributing to the wave, Bezos’s ex-wife, Mackenzie Scott, announced a $2 billion donation to various causes. In less than a year, Scott has contributed roughly $4 billion to 465 groups.