It’s great that the Ice Bucket Challenge (IBC) has raised $88.5million, it’s great that it’s raised awareness, and it’s great that many people have found joy in philanthropy. However, (and this is a big however) let’s stop and think for a moment..,
One of my friends recently refused to take the IBC, her Facebook timeline filled up with comments like “spoilsport“, “no fun“, “you won’t play” etc. There we have it. That’s the nub of why I won’t take the IBC. If people think it’s just fun, or “having a laugh” (as the Brits say), then I imagine the challenge has become a replacement for real consideration in the minds of some people. Further, it has become a means by which we can salve conscience.
Some might say that the IBC has just become an egotistical rite of passage for those seeking self assurance…,
Most importantly, the IBC has become a way of getting in with the crowd, being accepted by the group, maybe even being popular. Yet paradoxically sufferers of ALS (or Motor Neurone Disease) often experience social isolation.
If you really want to alleviate the social isolation of ALS sufferers there are many better things to do than throwing a bucket of water over your head.
The ALS Foundation is undoubtedly a very worthy cause, but tbh I’ve never donated to this cause before. So maybe now is the time to contribute, right ? It’s just following fads without thought. If this is how we all decided which charities to donate to then charity would become little more than a social media popularity contest. ALS Foundation now have $88.5m more than they used to. Maybe, we should now start contributing to other worthy causes. I’ve always supported Medecins Sans Frontieres / Doctors without Borders (I will write a post about them soon, they’re truly inspirational). So rather than fulfil my IBC nomination I’ve made a donation to Medecins Sans Frontieres.
I like the Indian take on IBC, The “Rice Bucket Challenge” – this is to give a bucket of rice to someone in need of food in your community. I will also do this, but I won’t be putting their photo on the internet to make me feel good, at the expense of their dignity.
Last year I ran a half marathon to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support UK and Sarcoma UK, this was far harder than pouring a bucket of cold water over my head. I received wonderful support and sponsorship from many people. Some of the people who gave money live on a very tight budget, and experienced real hardship to sponsor me. I will be running the race again on 7th December 2014, I hope that many of our new found Ice Bucket Philanthropists support my good causes by sponsoring me.