Do you know what the Perpetual Education Fund is?
“Ten years ago President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008) outlined a problem—the inability of many returned missionaries and other worthy youth in developing areas to escape poverty—and provided a solution: the Perpetual Education Fund (PEF). A revolving fund that would be established using donations from members and friends of the Church, the PEF would supply educational loans to young people with the expectation that they would prepare for gainful employment in their communities and repay the loans so that others could have similar opportunities. . . .
“As of February 2011, nearly 90 percent of those who have sought work after completing their schooling have found employment. Some 78 percent of those now employed say that their current employment is an improvement over what they had before receiving training. The average income after schooling for PEF participants is three to four times greater than income prior to schooling, representing a vast improvement in economic status. . . .
“More than 47,000 people have participated in the PEF since fall 2001. That’s not counting the extended families that are supported and inspired by family members participating in the PEF, the wards and branches that benefit from members who have a greater capacity to serve and contribute, and the local economies that need skilled workers to grow.
“ 'Imagine the impact as you consider all who are affected,' Brother Allen [director of training and communications] said. 'This extends to those who donate to the PEF—the donors, their families, their wards and branches—all are blessed by their contributions.'
“ 'Within the grasp of almost all Latter-day Saints is the ability to give something regularly to this fund and to other worthy endeavors,' Elder Carmack [executive director] said. 'President Hinckley’s invitation helps those who contribute to the PEF as well as those who [use it to] improve themselves to draw closer to our Savior.' ”
~ “Perpetual Education Fund Fulfills Prophetic Promises,” Ensign, May 2011, pp. 141–43
Challenge: Next time you pay tithing, donate to the Perpetual Education Fund.