ALS and the Ice Bucket Challenge

I don’t understand all the hostility towards the ice bucket challenge. It’s about raising awareness and money. I read that 23 million has been raised so far and awareness about ALS has certainly increased. There are those complaining that it hasn’t been advertised properly, but what do you expect? Do you think a charity has enough money to send everyone in the US a little pamphlet that gives all the details? 

The challenge is intended to spread across social media very quickly and you’ll see your friends and favorite celebrities doing the challenge every time you open Facebook. Then, if you are interested, you can look up what it’s all about. It is a genius way to spread awareness, because almost everyone is using social media. 

Stop acting like the proponents of this challenge are somehow at fault for not attaching direct links to every single ice bucket video that has been shared. We live in the age of google, and the darn websites name is alsa.org. It’s not that hard to find out where to contribute. If you didn’t bother to google where to donate, I doubt you would have donated had a link been provided. 

The purpose of the challenge is to both raise money and get people involved. Yes, dumping water on your head isn’t as noble as donating money, but it’s a fun way for people to raise awareness and if people truly care, it gives them the opportunity to donate. People are always doing stupid stuff on video and sharing it online. Now that it actually has good intentions we start complaining? 

You can complain that, “It’s not enough,” but it is better than nothing. ALS is an awful disease and our morality should be pleased at even the smallest effort to fight back, not indignant. Quit disguising your cynicism as humanitarianism. 

However much money is raised I say it’s worth it, because people had fun and showed compassion, even if it was a small amount. If you want to see more compassion you should encourage it, not condemn it during its baby steps. 23 million dollars has been raised! We’ve got rich mucks like Bill Gates doing the challenge and donating money. Fun plus compassion? That’s my meaning of life right there.

And to everyone saying it’s a waste of clean water…you’re right, but if you’ve ever played with a water gun you can’t make that argument without being a hypocrite. Come back to me when you’ve cut back on showering and flushing your toilet.

To add one more thought; let’s not stop after the ice bucket challenge trend has passed. It has been successful, but there is still practically an infinite amount of humanitarian work to be done. We shouldn’t allow this to make us complacent. There are many of those in need, and many who need to do something about it.

 

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  2 comments for “ALS and the Ice Bucket Challenge

  1. August 29, 2014 at 2:23 am

    Thank you! I’ve found the backlash frustrating. There was an interesting oped in the LA Times making this point. Would one complain about a bake sale, a car wash, a dance, or selling chocolate for a cause? Sure, one could just write a check or think of another cause, but that’s the case with a lot of fundraisers. The ice bucket challenge is catchy and people are talking about ALS and donating as a result. I think it’s great. Why not have fun with bringing awareness? Does charity have to be dull?

    • August 29, 2014 at 2:27 am

      I agree! Taking advantage of social media was a brilliant idea.

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