Well, I finally took the plunge and did the “ice bucket challenge.” The first time a friend challenged me on Facebook I didn’t know what it was so I just ignored it. Then last week I was challenged by a guy I work with to match his donation to Catholic Charities so I stepped up and did it. I honestly only gave it about 2 seconds of thought. “Donate to Catholic Charities?… I’m in!” We filmed it in one take and five minutes later is was posted.
Then all the comments started. People posted articles about how donating “in that way” (putting the emphasis on showy displays that focus on the giver, not the receiver) is wrong. Others argue it’s a blatant waste of water. Or it’s just bandwagon social media hype that will fizzle out soon. Or we’re glamorizing and making our few seconds of pain “cool” while others are truly suffering. That may be true, but I’ll bet Catholic Charities will still take my donation. And I’ll bet ALS is very appreciative of the reported $70 million that has been raised for their charity since the “ice bucket challenge” started in July.
Movie stars, late night hosts, athletes, entertainers, and even former presidents have taken the ice bucket challenge. It’s spreading like wildfire around the country and here in Owensboro as well.
Besides the money being raised, awareness is the other issue. Whether you’re “for” or “against” the ice bucket method, it is still getting thousands, if not millions, of people talking about ALS and donating to charity in general. I’m thinking that’s a good thing.
But now this has gone to a whole new level. It’s become a bigger discussion about proper way to donate.
Accept the challenge or don’t. Donate to ALS or don’t and give to another charity of your choice. Either way, this whole experience is forcing people to wrestle with the struggle of where to donate and how appropriate (or inappropriate) our methods are. I’m still thinking that’s a good thing because we are all having to think through all of this to really determine where we stand on all these issues.
And to think, it all started with a little bit of ice water.