01/23/2013 05:33 pm ET Updated Mar 25, 2013

The Road to Economic Freedom

To Dress for Success, this JobRaising Challenge is actually a life-changing challenge because, around the world, that's what we do! We help women realize their full professional potential and give them the tools and confidence to gain employment and ultimately, economic freedom. When a woman has a good job, when a woman has the right job, the course of her life is forever changed.

Projects like the JobRaising Challenge are a beacon of light in these dark, uncertain, economic times. While employment has been increasing across the country, 1.84 million jobs were created throughout 2012, the number of unemployed Americans is still staggering, with 12.2 million people currently without work.

Are you part of that 1.84 million or part of the 12.2 million?

When it comes to employment, we can turn the latter into the former, if we all work together toward the common goal of seeing that number of 1.84 million jobs created continue to grow. The fact that more than 200 organizations dedicated to job creation and career development applied to take part in the JobRaising Challenge speaks volumes to just how dire our country's unemployment situation is -- but it also speaks to the compassion and overwhelming willingness of people to help others in need.

At Dress for Success, we are an organization comprised primarily of women who are committed to helping other women along their paths to professional fulfillment and economic independence. Our organization began by providing office-appropriate clothing to disadvantaged women with job interviews, but quickly blossomed into a global provider of a full suite of services and programs that address every phase of a woman's career -- from being unemployed and searching, to recently employed and adjusting, to gainfully employed and succeeding. We know that sometimes the hardest part isn't just finding a job, but keeping a job, which is why we also provide a network of support that goes beyond a woman's first day at work and lasts a lifetime.

Dress for Success has been able to reach more than 650,000 women across the globe because we know that the story of the unemployed woman is the same no matter where we go. From Portland to Portugal, the faces, the names and the languages may change, but the experiences are universal.

We're up for the challenge and invite you to join us by visiting Dress for Success' CrowdRise Fundraising page to support our cause. Thank you to the Skoll Foundation, CrowdRise and The Huffington Post for selecting us a finalist in the JobRaising Challenge, not just from Dress for Success, but from the thousands of women we serve each year!