A year ago, I was anxiously awaiting college acceptance letters (and actively dreading rejections). I am now a freshman at Columbia University and feel so incredibly lucky to be able to say that.
My mother came to the United States when she was a few years younger than I am now. She spoke no English, as did her parents, little sister, and grandparents, who all lived together. She struggled through high school, finding niches, learning the language, and hoping to learn enough to build a life for herself. She worked through college and thusly didn't have time for that "real college experience."
She understood the importance of education and knew that she wanted to put her kids through private schools. Despite not always being able to pay easily, she put our education at the top of her priority list and made it happen.
As a result, I'm in a very strong position to create serious impact in the world. I have been afforded incredible opportunities and instead of just accepting them I feel it is my duty to use them in a way that will ultimately allow me to turn around and offer similar opportunities to someone else, or a community of others.
Education is one of the most important and powerful tools you can give someone. Education allows for freedom of thought, freedom of pursuit, and the right to act. Education is what will ultimately raise entire countries out of poverty.
Education is not an easy gift to give or donation to make, which is why it is rarely given. It takes time to see results (unlike monetary gifts) and lots of people don't have the patience.
My idea is that people who have the patience to see this through should work to build schools and send teachers to poor developing countries, and those who wish to simply donate money should donate to families so that they can afford to have their child not working at home, but rather studying at school.