Celebrity chef José Andrés and CNN political commentator Van Jones are the first two recipients of Jeff Bezos’s new philanthropic award, giving both men $100 million to put towards any charity or nonprofit of their choice.
“Sometimes dreams come true,” Jones said upon receiving the generous donation. “The headlines around the world should be, ‘Anything is possible if you believe.’”
The award came as a surprise to many, but the CNN contributor later revealed that he was previously briefed on Bezos’ plans. “He said that he thought that my attempts to try to bring people together across party lines, across racial lines had been inspiring and can I use some more support,” Jones said.
“I really didn’t know what to say. You got people coming out of prisons, you have got people on reservations, you have got people in Appalachia, you have got people at the border, all people,” he continued.
“This country is unbelievable what people are doing, and how much heart they have and how much love they have. They don’t care about these things we divide over sometime and they need more support. If we can connect them with more resources, it is going to make a big difference.”
During the conference, Bezos also presented an award to chef José Andrés, whose nonprofit World Central Kitchen has helped to feed many negatively affected by natural disasters. Per the Amazon founder, the chef and Jones “can give all [the money] to their own charity or they can share their wealth.” “It’s all up to them,” he said.
Bezos’ charitable acts come on the heels of the trip which saw the businessman and his New Shepard rocket crew blast into space from the West Texas desert and return to Earth 11 minutes later.
Okay Van, what charities are you giving that money away to.