Bill Ackman, billionaire hedge fund manager, is donating $3.25 million to help buy over a dozen badly-needed ambulances for Ukraine.
The news was broken by Whitney Tilson, an investor working for Ackman’s charity, Pershing Square Foundation. Tilson has been leading an effort for months to buy ambulances for aid organizations operating in Ukraine.
“I had breakfast with my college buddy Bill Ackman this morning, walked him through the attached slide deck I put together about my ambulances-for-Ukraine mission, and on the spot he agreed to donate $3.25 million,” Tilson wrote in an email dated Feb. 25.
The donation will cover 15 specially equipped ambulances and the costs of bringing them and operating them on the front lines of Ukraine’s defenses against the Russian invasion. The ambulances, which are specially equipped to allow medical personnel to stand as they treat patients, cost approximately $116,000 each. Ukraine has been asking for ambulances as well as other medical equipment, since they have lost much to the invasion. An estimated 80,000 have been wounded in Ukraine so far, with reports varying wildly by source.
Bill Ackman’s great-grandfather was a Jewish immigrant from Ukraine in 1887, during the period Tsar Alexander III enforced harsh restrictions on Russian Jews and tacitly encouraged pogroms. The situation in Ukraine has touched him closely.
Ackman and his wife Neri Oxman are estimated to have a net worth of around $3.5 billion. They have jointly pledged to give away the majority of their fortune in their lifetimes. So far, they have supported causes ranging from medical research and Harvard University’s crew team to disaster relief and earthquake-stricken Haiti.
Through the Pershing Square Foundation, Ackman and Oxman have committed over $600 million to causes around the world.
On the matter of the ambulances, neither Ackman, Oxman, or Tilson could be reached for further comment.
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