So, I did the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge thing today.
And it was awesome.
Know what I love most about this challenge that has taken over Facebook? It’s pushed people outside their comfort zone. Hundreds of thousands of people are DUMPING ICE WATER OVER THEIR HEADS to bring awareness to a disease that affects tons of people in a devastating way. And the numbers prove it’s working. The ALSA has raised something like $15 MILLION more dollars than they did a year ago. That’s a lot of money any way you slice it.
It’s been interesting to watch this phenomenon progress. It started small and didn’t quite know what it was trying to do. Initially the challenge was presented as a way to avoid giving money to the ALSA. A valiant, though somewhat misguided effort. Then people started doing the challenge AND donating. That’s when it really took off, at least in terms of effectiveness. And as it got more popular, you guessed it…haters.
Suddenly you find out there are several people in your life who are hardcore water conservationists. “There are people in the world who don’t have water to drink!” That’s true. And that’s not what this is about AT ALL. “Let me get this straight – you dump water over your head to not give money? Sure. Makes sense.” Yeah, that’s why it changed. That’s why people who aren’t looking for an excuse to complain use their brain and say, “Oh, wait, I could do this fun and crazy thing to bring attention to ALS AND I can donate! And I can invite OTHERS to participate as well!”
“Most of these idiots don’t even know what ALS is.” I actually saw that posted. And here’s the thing: THAT’S THE POINT. I’ve seen more people research to find out what ALS is than ever before. “Why ALS?” Why NOT ALS? Are there countless other charities that need support? Of course. But that doesn’t negate the good that is coming from this. Nor should it deter you from joining-in to support a good cause.
Will this eventually peter out? Absolutely. Fame usually does. And there will be tons of people who say, “Told you it wouldn’t last.” And again, those people have completely missed the point. Of course it will end and Facebook will go back to pictures of kids and cats and stupid memes. You know, pretty useless fare.
But at least our timelines won’t be clogged with people doing good.
So, my challenge is for any of you who might have taken a stance against this viral phenomenon…for whatever reason…is to stop nit-picking and get out of your comfort zone and join in. Do something good. If you really don’t want to do the water thing, get creative! Think of another unique way to bring attention ad support to ALS. Do some research if you don’t know what it is. And if there’s a different cause you’d like to champion – do that, too!
It’s been refreshing to see so many people smiling and laughing and doing what they can to help people whose lives are often incredibly difficult and painful.
Keep up the good work, friends!
Donate to the ALSA here!