My thoughts on the #IceBucketChallenge

I KNOW you’re sick of seeing/hearing about it, and I KNOW it seems like a gimmick rather than anything philanthropic, HOWEVER, the #icebucketchallenge is undeniably a brilliant fundraising campaign.

What many people don’t know, is that the ice “shower” purportedly simulates the symptoms of someone with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

ALS causes the progressive degeneration of the motor neurons, which control muscle movements…The feeling of ice-cold water over the body is said to be similar to the numbing effect of ALS.

Ice Bucket Challenge

Hate it or love it, compare it to donations towards other diseases/illnesses, but don’t bitch about it unless you’re DONATING TO SOMETHING. I’d rather watch an ostensibly ludicrous campaign inundate my Facebook, Twitter and News feed (etc.) and raise awareness, than have people sit on their arse and do nothing at all. YES, there are individuals who have done it for the recognition of supporting a good cause yet have not donated, but I’d like to think that one person who saw that video donated twice as much and compensated for the other’s lack of generosity. Call me optimistic – I’m okay with that.

Besides, I’d rather hear about the Ice Bucket Challenge than Miley Cyrus’ homeless date at the VMAs, or anything to do with Justin Bieber, sex videos being leaked, or celebrities phones being hacked (though security breaches and the objectification of women are worth discussing). Just saying.

Rant done.

You probably won’t see me doing the challenge, and you probably won’t know if I did or did not donate to the cause, but that’s because true generosity should not need to be broadcasted.

Does altruism actually exist? Prove it.

The moral of the story is to donate to whatever cause you feel most passionate about and, if your budget allows, do it on a regular basis. The hardest thing for the ALS foundation to do now will be maintaining the hype and keeping the cash flowing in to fund research. Hopefully their next campaign is as successful as this one has been, as it has reportedly raised over 100 million dollars since July.

FURTHER INFORMATION

How it started, where funds go: http://www.ctvnews.ca/health/health-headlines/icebucketchallenge-how-did-it-start-and-where-will-the-funds-go-1.1975051

Fast Facts: http://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/iq/67172-fast-facts-als-ice-bucket-challenge

Viral Altruism?: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2441467

ALS Foundation Spending: http://qz.com/257753/why-nobody-should-be-upset-that-als-foundation-only-spends-27-of-donations-on-research/

Phone Scam: http://globalnews.ca/news/1542605/phone-scam-dampens-als-ice-bucket-challenge-donations/

Matt Damon re: wasting clean water: http://time.com/3181818/als-ice-bucket-challenge-matt-damon-uses-toilet-water/

Similar trends: http://www.dw.de/viral-ice-bucket-challenge-sparks-a-wave-of-similar-trends/a-17898481

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