I've always had a soft spot in my heart for charity work, but have struggled mightily because there is always so much need out there, and my ability to give has its limits. So I will often end up choosing how and where to give based on a more personal element...trying to match my giving with organizations whose missions and approaches are consistent with my own passions and interests.
Recently, I found out about a fundraising effort that combines several things about which I'm passionate: helping women and children, education and self-reliance, addressing defined needs in a defined way, networking among organizations to accomplish good, and using social media to spread the word.
Several LDS bloggers have come together to help LDS Philanthropies and LDS Business College provide full-tuition scholarships for single parents (mostly moms). The very effective program enables a single parent to focus on schooling for two years (tuition and books are covered). Upon graduation, the individuals have specific skills they can use immediately in the work force.
I've listened to and read the stories of women (e.g., see here and here) who have gone through this program and there are common threads in what they say -- they found hope and confidence to face their situations with faith, as well as increased ability to take care of their children. They found an environment that fostered spiritual growth as well as professional preparation. They found personal support in a small school that has a unique and focused mission.
This is a cause I'm passionate about. I would love to help them get past $10,000 by the end of the month. [Update -- we hit that goal earlier today...but we still want to keep helping!] Will you help spread the word? You can find widgets for the fundraising campaign to put on your own blog.