Robin Hood holds an annual benefit to fight against poverty in New York City, and as a result of that auction, two New York City public school teachers will be getting a ride to space on Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket.
Robin Hood has been working to fight poverty in New York City for over 30 years, and the benefit on May 9 raised $126 million toward that effort.
The benefit included a $10 million donation from the Bezos Family Foundation, a $25 million gift from the 776 Foundation, and a $50 million commitment from New York City. One part of the benefit included an auction, and among those items auctioned was a seat to space with Blue Origin in a New Shepard capsule, donated by the company.
The auction item was introduced by Mark Bezos, who spoke about his own experience traveling to space with his brother Jeff Bezos last summer.
New York City teachers to fly to space
The auction was intended as a “buy-one-give-one,” where one seat went to the winning bidder of the auction and another would go to an NYC public school teacher.
The winner was Ken Griffin, the CEO and founder of Citadel, a hedge fund. The $8 million bid will go to supporting Robin Hood’s efforts to fight poverty, but despite winning the auction, Griffin will not be taking the flight. Instead, “At Ken’s request, Robin Hood will provide both seats to New York City public school teachers, in recognition of their commitment to advancing public education.”
Space Explored’s take
It is easy to be critical of the ultra-wealthy taking quite literal joyrides to space – but this isn’t that. It isn’t clear at this time which specific public school teachers will be selected to take this once in a lifetime (or, perhaps twice in a lifetime) opportunity, or even how they are selected. But I am hopeful and confident that those individuals who have such a major impact on the futures of kids will be able to make the most of the experience, not just for themselves but for all the pupils that they teach and have taught.
Support Robin Hood’s efforts in NYC
You can go to Robin Hood’s website to learn more about what specific efforts they have taken to help fight poverty, and check out Charity Navigator if you would like to feel confident in your decision to donate.
Featured image credit: Robin Hood