Americans have long seen charity as a way of offering second chances to those experiencing hardship. Given how many people are down on their luck these days due to the economic downturn, now is an especially important time to help out — that is, if you can afford to do so.

One nonprofit in San Diego — aptly named Second Chance — is doing really important work and getting results.  The organization creates opportunities for those who have experienced unemployment, poverty, or have spent time behind bars.  It offers an array of programs to enable people to overcome these significant barriers to entering the workforce.  They get help with job readiness and job placement and, if needed, are provided mental health and financial literacy services.

Take a look at what Second Chance has accomplished.  Over 70% of the graduates of its STRIVE program have attained employment and 70% have retained their jobs over two years.

Tune in to The Sundance Channel in August to watch “Get to Work”, an 8-part documentary filmed at Second Chance and based on its successes.

Here’s how you can enable economically disadvanted people in San Diego to gain access to the American dream.

This is, plain and simple, a good investment.  Each dollar given to Second Chance yields a return of $5 to the community in the form of taxes paid and reduced incarceration costs.  Now that’s bang for your buck!