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Warren Buffett charity lunch auction opens on Ebay with $25,000 bid

Bloomberg San Francisco | Updated on May 27, 2019 Published on May 27, 2019

Warren Buffett   -  Reuters

The twentieth annual auction would need to raise around $3.46 million to beat the record set by an anonymous bidder in 2012

Warren Buffett has raised close to $30 million for a San Francisco charity with 19 years of annual auctions, and he is not finished yet.

Bidding on EBay Inc’s website opened on Sunday evening in the United States (US) at $25,000 as the billionaire investor is again offering a chance to pick his brain over lunch at a New York steakhouse. The week-long auction benefits Glide, whose programs address hunger, poverty and homelessness.

The tech boom has generated billions of dollars in personal fortunes in San Francisco and adjoining Silicon Valley, driving up living costs and contributing to a housing crisis. The city’s department of homelessness says that around 8,000 people are on the streets. Glide Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Karen Hanrahan said she’s seeing longer lines of needy folks outside the charity’s doors.

“It’s not just in numbers, its also the changing nature of who is in our line. We see a growing number of people who have jobs and sometimes have homes but are really just hanging on by a thread,” Hanrahan said in an interview.

“A surge in homelessness escalates demand for a range of services from Glide, including meals and treatment for addiction or mental-health issues. Growing wealth in a major US city carries with it an increase in homelessness and inequality,” Hanrahan said.

She also said that there are some people who think if economies are growing its going to lift more people up.

“But the reality is that the number of people falling into poverty and unable to afford housing, food and other necessities is outstripping the number of people who might be lifted up by a growing economy,” she added.

The twentieth annual auction would need to raise around $3.46 million to beat the record set by an anonymous bidder in 2012. The first auction brought in $25,000 in 2000, and last year’s bidding topped out at $3.3 million. Buffett, the Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc, said the money is desperately needed in San Francisco.

It makes a difference, and it translates into human beings finding that there is hope in life, Buffett, 88, said in a statement. The rest of the society may have given up on them, but Glide is going to give them a chance.

Published on May 27, 2019
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