“Building awareness.” The term can mean many things.
When it comes to the ALS #IceBucketChallenge, it can mean reaching people for the first time who don’t know what ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease is. Or educating everyone on just how devastating ALS is to the body. Or revealing that ALS research (and many other nonprofits) has been struggling with funding.
I will admit that at the beginning of the Ice Bucket Challenge, I was on the fence about people dousing themselves with ice water for a cause. Over the last couple of years, I’ve become a little jaded about social media stunts.
However, it was articles like What An ALS Family REALLY Thinks About the Ice Bucket Challenge and Why I Won’t Be Ashamed of My #icebucketchallenge that changed my mind. You also can’t argue with the fact that the challenge has raised over
$15 million $31.5 million for the ALS Association and additional millions for other ALS organizations. What could have been a short-lived stunt did much more than build awareness. It drove action.
Whether it’s $5, $10, $25 or $100…
Regardless of whether or not you film yourself dumping ice water on your head…
It’s time to donate to ALS research and treatments.
Although my bucket decided to sit this one out, I put my wallet where my mind and mouth are. I encourage you to do the same if you already haven’t. Donate to ALS; or – if you would prefer – split your next donation between ALS and the charity of your choice.
And if you’re looking for a place to make your ALS donation, here’s one:
Jennifer Jackson is a friend of mine from PlayhouseSquare Partners (and an excellent board vice-chair!). A little over 8 years ago, her father Hank lost his life to ALS.
Her family now participates in the Cleveland Walk to Defeat ALS to give thanks to the ALS Association for supporting them through his battle. The organization provided respite care and home health aids that made a tremendous difference in his quality of life.
The 2014 Walk to Defeat ALS takes place on September 21. You can join me in helping Jen and her family surpass their goal by donating here.
If you still have your doubts about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, go and read those three articles that I linked to earlier and then read this exchange from Guardians of the Galaxy. I watched this movie for the third time last night, and the more often I see it, the more I realize it’s the perfect movie for everything else going on right now.
Peter Quill: Usually life takes more than it gives, but not today. Today it’s given us something. It has given us a chance.
Drax: To do what?
Peter: To give a shit.
P.S. – Thank you, Poise in Parma, for tagging me in the Ice Bucket Challenge. I had decided to donate but it was your tag that reminded me to take the 30 seconds to follow through. (Yet another reason this campaign is good — it fights forgetfulness!)