Tuesday, August 19, 2014

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

I don't typically blog about things other than my family. However, this subject (or rather, the "spirit" of this subject) got me thinking. This is not written towards any one person or any one comment so please don't take offense or send me hate mail. You have expressed your opinion, now I wish to express mine.

Many people are complaining that the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is "stupid", "does not raise any awareness", "is not raising any money", "people are not donating",  etc....

Let me offer you this ... This time last year the ALS Association received $1.9 million in donations (July 29-Aug. 19). During this same time frame THIS YEAR the ALS Association has received $22.9 million in donations. It seems to me that A LOT of people are not just dumping a bucket of ice over their heads. Furthermore, this increase in donation money has come from both current donors and 453,210 new donors. Again, seems like there is some awareness being raised here.

To take this one step further, let me give you the example from my own family.

One of my children was challenged by a friend in a different state via Facebook. Yes, I had to take a WHOLE 30 seconds out of my life to show him the video. Of course he didn't have a clue what ALS was, stood for or why dumping a bucket of ice over your head would help anyone. So, we went to that glorious tool called the internet. Last night both of my children learned about ALS. They learned that it affects the nerve cells in your brain and impairs your ability to control your muscles which eventually renders your muscles useless to the point of paralysis. They learned that after diagnosis, the average life expectancy is 2-5 years. They learned that ALS is not contagious. They learned that ALS does not discriminate.

Awareness and understanding. 

The entire lesson took about 5 minutes. However, it was not a lesson that I was planning on teaching that night. In fact, it had never ever crossed my mind to teach my kids about ALS. For that matter, I have probably heard the term and explanation of ALS more in the last two days than I have in the last two decades.

Awareness and understanding.

Before you throw your ice bucket to the curb and say there is no logical correlation between a bucket of ice and raising awareness, let me ask you a few questions.

Is there a correlation between raising awareness for breast cancer and a bunch of people getting together and drinking beer? No? Google Beer 4 Boobs.

What about Poker Tournaments and raising awareness of pancreatic cancer? No? Google All In For A Cure.

Have you ever seen a person wear purple to raise awareness for autism? Some might even post a photo on Facebook.

Then there's always the not so popular colon cancer campaign where you were supposed to post  picture of your booty to raise awareness.

Also the ever popular, what color is your bra? campaign for breast cancer.

Don't forget golf outings, silent auctions, bake sales, gofundme sights, races, bike rides, walks, selling t shirts, car stickers, car washes, galas....

These are all challenges in one way or another. Give more. Do more. Raise more awareness. Is it such a bad thing to have a little fun in the process?

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