There was a girl who started a similar campaign on the internet about 5 years ago. Said she had a problem shopping, ran up creditcard debt and learned her lesson and needed help. Send donations via paypal. She kept a blog updated with donations she received and where she was with paying off the debt. She also had links to her ebay auctions where she put up all of the excess stuff she purchased and didn't need. I remember having the story forwarded to me a dozen or so times from various sources...who knows if it was a real story or just an original way of scamming people out of their money.
A quick google search turns up this site with plenty of sob stories
If you guys want to seriously give money to someone to help them live their dream related to cars, here's a better idea.
On a motorcycle forum a few years ago, we decided we wanted to see the brand supported in competition. The factory wasn't supporting the effort, but we though if we all put up $100, we could support a grass roots team and help some up and coming racer live his dream and we'd know our money wasn't being used by some scam artist.
I run a GrandAm race team and racing a GT3 Porsche in the Rolex series. If there's an interest in helping someone realize their dream, I'll start a paypal account to accept donations and I will aquire a Maserati or Ferrari to give away at the end of the year. I can get it for dealer cost or less from one of our sponsors, so we're looking at a minimum of $65k, up to $150k depending on the model. I'll have a lawyer make this all official so you know the money isn't being used for personal reasons and in exhange for my teams efforts, we'll market it and hopefully get some exposure and offer some additional value to our sponsors. We can give the car away at the end of the season based on an essay contest on why the person should get the car, have a lottery, etc, etc. I guess we'd start a thread on this subject alone and have people vote. Personaly, I like the essay idea. Then, we'd be able to verify it really is some 18 year old nerd who all the girls ignore and has a passion for cars (think "license to drive" Corey Haim movies!).
I've got a few connections with some of the trade publications and tv programs and if we were able to raise $10k, I could get it the story covered and hopefully start a viral marketing effect.
Or, we could do a similar effort and support someone who wants to race! It's extremely expensive and there are plenty of up and coming racers who just can't raise the sponsorship money. $300k would give some young deserving star a full season in Mazda star or Grand Am cup.
Of course, if the $ raised falls short, we could plan to have all donations refunded or donated to another charity by a certain date (Make-A-Wish maybe would fit the theme)