And a Happy Friday to you out there, and most importantly by far, to all of you on the East Coast from Delaware on down, hoping and praying you all stay safe during Hurricane Florence. Hurricanes are no joke, so I hope all of you in those areas are safe and sound.
We begin Good News Friday with Naomi Osaka, the 20-year-old who won the U.S. Open less than a week ago and whose life has changed forever. Just one way it’s changed? Ellen DeGeneres got her a message from her celebrity crush.
It started when Osaka, an adorably shy woman, was on “Ellen” and the host asked her who her dream crush was. She answered Michael B. Jordan (good choice), and of course Ellen being Ellen, well, just watch this …
So of course, the star of “Creed” and “Black Panther” got Ellen’s message, and because he’s cool like that, decided to send a video response back to Osaka. I would have given anything to be in the room and see how much she blushed when she saw that. Very, very cool by everyone all around, just made me smile a lot.
**Next up, nothing earth-shattering here but it made me giggle as I watched it seven or eight times. True story: We had a cockatiel when I was a kid, named Sunny, and god bless him he lived forever but never did anything this cute; he just squawked and flapped his wings and the feathers got over everything.
But this guy is great.
**And finally today, Amazon founder and Washington Post rescuer Jeff Bezos stepped up in a huge, huge way philanthropically on Thursday. Bezos and his Foundation have pledged a staggering $2 billion (that’s billion with a B) to help homeless families and create a network of nonprofit preschools in low-income communities.
The Bezos Day One Fund will focus on two initiatives, the billionaire announced in an online post Thursday. The first will fund existing nonprofits and issue annual awards to organizations doing “compassionate, needle-moving work” to shelter and support the immediate needs of young families. The second will operate a network of high-quality, full-scholarship Montessori-inspired preschools. The fund’s vision statement comes from nonprofit Mary’s Place in Seattle: no child sleeps outside.
“We’ll use the same set of principles that have driven Amazon,” wrote Bezos. “Most important among those will be genuine, intense customer obsession. The child will be the customer.”
Excellent news. Supporting homeless people isn’t sexy or splashy, but it’s hugely important, and I’m thrilled Bezos is addressing it, as well the chronic need for better educational opportunities in low-income area.
Say what you want about Amazon, this is a huge, positive step by its founder.