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Jeff Bezos Asked For Tips On How To Help People And Got A Ton Of Responses

There has been no shortage of ideas.

Posted on June 17, 2017, at 2:51 p.m. ET

On Thursday, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos tweeted out a request for ideas on how to use his billions of dollars to help the world.

The multibillionaire, whose company announced it would buy Whole Foods on Friday, wrote:

This tweet is a request for ideas. I'm thinking about a philanthropy strategy that is the opposite of how I mostly spend my time — working on the long term. For philanthropy, I find I'm drawn to the other end of the spectrum: the right now. As one example, I'm very inspired and moved by the work done at Mary's Place here in Seattle. I like long-term — it's a huge lever: Blue Origin, Amazon, Washington Post — all of these are contributing to society and civilization in their own ways. But I'm thinking I want much of my philanthropic activity to be helping people in the here and now — short term — at the intersection of urgent need and lasting impact. If you have ideas, just reply to this tweet with the idea ( and if you think this approach is wrong, would love to hear that too).


After Amazon announced on Friday it would buy Whole Foods, Bezos's net worth jumped $2.5 billion, according to Forbes, making him the world's second-richest person with a net worth of more than $84 billion.

Immediately after he made his request on Twitter, ideas began flowing in. People suggested Bezos donate to charities that help homeless LGBT youth...

@JeffBezos In the US, 40% of homeless youth are LGBT and gay teens are twice as likely to attempt suicide and twice as likely to succeed.

...or support girls' education.

.@JeffBezos We have an idea for you & 130 million good reasons to support it — girls’ education. Send us a DM if yo…

or help libraries.

@JeffBezos Libraries solve many of the issues in education and employment across the United States. We're standing…

Other suggested Bezos put money towards funding affordable housing for victims of the Grenfell Tower fire and others in need.

Buy some blocks of flats in London and rent them out at truly affordable rates to not only the Grenfell Tower resid…

Some proposed he help achieve criminal justice reform.

Join the community of people trying to free the innocent from prison + reform criminal justice.…

One organization thought the Amazon CEO should help, well, the Amazon.

@JeffBezos .@amazon for the #Amazon! You can help protect 10% of the world’s biodiversity and support local communi…

At least one person thought Bezos could help end school lunch debt...

@JeffBezos Kids get shamed at school when they have a negative lunch money balance. Some depend on that meal to eat…

...and pay off student loans.

@JeffBezos Help pay off student loans. They keep so many from raising their credit score: getting a better job, buy…

Then there's the issue of LGBT youth suicide.

@JeffBezos The @TrevorProject is expanding our life-saving crisis services to 24/7/365 to save more young LGBTQ liv…

Or Bezos could simply give cash directly to the poor and let them decide how to spend it, an idea that has support among many charity experts.

@JeffBezos Give poor people money:

Some suggested using technology to effect change in the world, such as building a charity accelerator...

@JeffBezos Equivalent of startup accelerator for fledgling charities? Not charitable startups - charities.Funding+m…

...or bringing Amazon Web Services to Africa.

@JeffBezos Setup AWS infrastructure and data centers in Africa. We can take it up from there and help ourselves.

So, with all the world's urgent problems, how would you spend a fortune to make a difference? Let Jeff Bezos know on Twitter, and let us know in the comments!

David Ryder / Getty Images

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.