Ice Bucket Challenge – Strong arm tactic or fund raising miracle?

I don’t have to explain the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. If you haven’t heard of it you have been living in an overturned bucket. There are have been tens of thousands of videos, articles, arguments, resentments, etc. about the Ice Bucket Challenge.

I am torn about the Ice Bucket Challenge. I have a bit of a rebellious streak in me especially when it comes to popular phenomenon. I am the type of person that derided all the popular people in high school. I’m the person that would roll their eyes at the jocks, and their overly sexy girlfriend cheerleaders. I hate when things go so over the top mainstream that they lose their uniqueness. The Ice Bucket Challenge has that feel of…”but everybody is doing it”. Which makes me have the equally strong emotion to rebel and do the OPPOSITE of what everyone else is doing. It feels like a strong arm fund raising tactic.

But, it is for a good cause.

Here is where the rebelliousness for the sake of rebellion, angst ridden teenager in me gets smacked across the face. It has been the most highly successful campaign in ALSA’s history. There is no doubt about that. Check this out  http://www.alsa.org/news/media/press-releases/ice-bucket-challenge-082614.html

And I was finally called out to the challenge myself by my own brother. What is family for, right? It was a tough call for me. How do I honor that inner teenager, but do it in a classy way that I don’t look like a middle aged brat? I mulled it over and at one point made arrangements to do it in a black, evening gown and mask. Honestly though, I didn’t want to do it. So, I didn’t do it. Instead I wrote a quick blurb and wrote a check. I took a picture of the blurb and the envelope with the address to where ALSA donations are sent. I posted these two pictures on my private, family friendly Facebook page. Guess what? I got no likes. ZERO LIKES!!! Go figure. Everyone wanted to see me drenched in ice cubed water with a flailing of the hands and arms in aquatic torture. That didn’t happen. It wasn’t entertaining enough.

In the blurb I wrote that other, more creative people had done the challenge and I couldn’t top them. I was giving money in honor of Jim Beaver, an actor and writer whom I greatly admire, and his dear friend Bob Deyan that died of ALS (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dcl1k7_JcdQ). I was also doing it because of the videos of Tom Hiddleston (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zzmNI1JFOnM) and Benedict Cumberbatch (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HdVnwt1dFpE). Tom Hiddleston tortured my fellow Twitter fan girls and me with his cruel, white t-shirt (same effect with woman and wet t-shirt contests). Benedict Cumberbatch’s video is brilliant in its numerous executions. I was also giving it because my brother and sister-in-law tortured themselves in t-shirts (non-white) and shorts. I nominated two Twitter friends @TriciaWhatley and @Drutoxic. I was trying to be cute and funny when the third being I nominated was Polar Bear #2358 who lived in the North Pole.

Why did I write the blurb? Why do people donate any money? I did it because I have a vested interest in the above mentioned people. I don’t know of anyone that has been directly affected by ALS. I respect Jim Beaver and I was moved by his plea to give. Ultimately, I gave because of him and his friend.

See, I donate a lot of money to charities. I do the American Heart Association walk nearly every year in my city. I collect donations from friends and family. The most I have every collected was this year. I donate to that organization because my mother is a walking miracle based on the research done in the area of women and heart attacks. I give money to diabetes organizations because I had gestational diabetes and my mother has type 2. My mother really has crazy health issues. I have given to the Susan G. Komen foundation and to local animal shelters. These are my charities because I have a personal, vested interest in them.

I am not a celebrity with oodles of money to give on a whim to whatever is the charity du jour. I just don’t. I give money to where I have seen those people I love suffer. So, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is a bit of a strong arm fundraising tactic.

But, maybe just maybe, the universe opened up this phenomenon and fostered it in the minds of so many to give research a push to find a cure for this horrendous disease. Maybe we are part of a grand design of ice, wetness, and challenges to find a cure. Wouldn’t that be awesome? I can get on board with that, but only if I can do it my way. 

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