Thoughts on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

I don’t know about you guys, but 75% of my Facebook news feed is videos of friends and celebrities doing the ALS ice bucket challenge. Before I go any further, let me just preface this post by saying that I commend everyone who has participated in helping raise awareness for this cause, and especially to all of the people who actually donated and didn’t just throw perfectly good clean water on their heads for shits and giggles. That said:

The fact that this thing has gone so viral that it’s literally infected my news feed to the point of every other article is a video or link of someone else doing this challenge is a feat in and of itself. My thoughts on this subject a very love/hate. 

The one hand, as I mentioned earlier, I respect everyone who is participating and in turn spreading awareness of the disease and helping raise money for research and the foundation. However, I have a few qualms with all of this.

The first and foremost is the complete waste of perfectly good clean drinking water. There are people around the world, this very second, literally dying due to malnutrition and unsafe drinking water, while people of our privilege are throwing buckets of water on their heads in order to avoid donating $100 (that no one can actually force you to donate anyway, btw) to the ALS foundation. 

Secondly, as the circle of people who haven’t been nominated to do this challenge yet continues to grow smaller (seriously, this is spreading like wildfire) I feel anxious about being nominated and keep practicing in my head what I’d do. For one thing, and don’t take this the wrong way, but I will not be donating to the ALS foundation. Why? Because I’d rather donate my money to a cause that I genuinely care about, like the WaterisLife.org foundation, which is probably most known for those really cool “straws” that filter dirty water into clean drinking water for people in unprivileged countries such as Ghana, Kenya, and Haiti. 

You may have seen this picture.

If you think I sound haughty, heartless, or holier-than-thou, let me tell you that I completely understand the idea of “just because it doesn’t effect you, don’t mean it isn’t important” and I totally agree. Again, points to all of you who are donating/spreading the word. ALS is certainly not a fun disease to have, and my heart goes out to everyone who has to deal with the crippling disease. However, I would rather conserve a bucket of ice water and donate and promote clean water foundations that help bring a fundamental necessity to people who very seriously need it. 

So while this viral challenge continues to snowball in momentum and provide us with hundreds and thousands of great videos (Tom Hiddleston, I’m talking about you) and millions of dollars raised for the ALS foundation, please be reminded that there are thousands of charities and organizations that you can donate to that you may have more a personal connection to. Please don’t hesitate to Google organizations for diseases, research, etc and find out how you can help. 

For anyone interested in donating to the Water is Life foundation, click this text right here.

#dontnominateme