For those who haven’t been living under a rock the past month or so, you’ve probably been inundated with video after video of all sorts of people pouring buckets of ice over their heads, all in the name of charity.
The Ice Bucket Challenge dares nominated participants to be filmed having a bucket of ice water poured on their heads and challenging others to do the same. A common stipulation is that nominated people have 24 hours to comply or forfeit by way of a charitable financial donation.
The charity in question does vary somewhat depending on where in the world you’re living. Most notably in the US, the challenge is being done to raise awareness of the disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease). In the United Kingdom, people also participate in the challenge for the Motor Neurone Disease Association or for Macmillan Cancer Support.
And wouldn’t you know it, a dear friend of mine nominated me through Facebook to complete the Macmillan Ice Bucket Challenge.. but I didn’t do it. I wimped out.
Instead of doing the actual challenge and posting yet another video of someone pouring water over their head, I sent a donation to the charity and posted on Facebook asking for others to complete the challenge on my behalf.
I could come up with all sorts of excuses why I didn’t do it – I’ve had a bit of a sore throat past couple of days, it was too chilly outside, I didn’t have anyone to film it for me, and so forth.
But to be honest, I just didn’t want to do it. To stand out in my garden and pour a bucket of ice water over my head while filming it for others to laugh at. It just seemed a lot of silliness to add another video to the already massive number on the internet.
Don’t get me wrong, I think the whole premise behind the challenge (regardless of which charity it’s being done for) is terrific and a fun way to raise awareness for these diseases, and to further educate those who are unaware of what they are.
But for me, I felt I could do more than just pour ice water over my head. Like write a blog post about it all to help promote the different charities, and to ask those who can to give to either of them. As well as the donation I did send in myself.
Doing the challenge is great and all, but I think some of the videos out there are just people following along with this summer’s ‘trend’. I’ve seen many videos online where people don’t even mention the charity, why they’re doing it, or whether they’ve made a donation themselves. And that’s not helping the charities at all, but instead just giving people a funny video to laugh at.
Of course, it’s the end result that matters most – increasing each charity’s funds so they can do more research and work towards prevention of the diseases. And by talking about it to get more information out there we can help even more than just pouring water over our heads.
And in the end, isn’t that the most important thing?
Click the links below to find out more about each of the charities, the work they’re doing and the challenges themselves. Please give if you can.
ALS Ice Bucket Challenge – http://www.alsa.org/fight-als/ice-bucket-challenge.html
Macmillan Ice Bucket Challenge (UK) – http://www.macmillan.org.uk/ice-nominate.html
As well watch the below video to see what sufferers of ALS go through. It’s an emotional and beautifully made video once you get past the super funny part at the beginning.
It’s the only ALS Ice Bucket video you really need to watch.