First, I just want to say that this post is not meant to undermine the efforts, good will, and the passions of all those who have donated and participated in the ALS challenge. This post is not meant to be judgemental or by any means ridicule, shame, or downplay anyone who has done the ice bucket challenge. In fact, I admire all those who rose to the challenge and have done it with zest, humour, and a generous heart.
However, after being nominated numerous times to do the challenge, each time I found myself hesitating. Perhaps, a side of me has always been suspicious of viral things on social media or perhaps, I am merely jaded by the whole equally viral, Kony2012 debacle. Nevertheless, I found that the whole challenge (just in my opinion only) didn’t sit well with me. Perhaps, I am overthinking it, but I don’t understand why an ice bucket dumped over my head will help ALS? Similarly, how does growing a moustache in November helps prostate cancer and men’s issues? To me, it just seems a bit gimmicky and a brilliant marketing tactic to get me to donate money.
Don’t get me wrong…I AM ALL ABOUT CHARITABLE GIVING! I am passionate about it. But, I don’t like getting manipulated or getting nominated to do it! LOL. With a finite amount of resources in my bank account, I want to donate money where it will count and where it will make the most differences. So forgive me, as I ask you to consider these factors the next time you are considering donating your finite and very hard earned resources.
1. Where is the greatest need?
2. Where will my donated resources have the greatest influence?
3. What is the most urgent problem in my city/world?
Based on those 3 questions, I don’t think ALS factors up. First off, ALS is categorized as a “rare” disease and compared to the top three diseases in Canada (cancer, at 72,000 deaths per year; heart disease, at 47,000; and cerebrovascular disease, 13,00000 people in Canada have the disease), the 600 that died from ALS, last year, is a relatively small number (it is always sad when someone dies, I am not diminishing the importance of their death, rather, I am just stating facts). Based on StatsCan, ALS doesn’t even make the top 20 most fatal diseases.
Secondly, according to Scott Gilmore of Maclean’s magazine, he writes, ” [ALS] is already extremely well funded. As this chart from CDC data shows, last year ALS killed 6,849 people in the U.S., and attracted $23 million for research (a ratio of $3,382 per death). Heart disease, by contrast, killed 596,577 but only raised $54 million (a paltry sum of $90 per death). If you want your donation to make the biggest difference, fund the diseases that need the most money.”
Lastly, although ALS is the disease of the moment on our social media sites, it is not the disease of most urgent need or the issue that is the most urgent problem. As a suggestion, perhaps we should look into the problem of refugees in Syria or the Ebola Crisis, which is now a full blown global health crisis. In my opinion, we should support charities with the most need, not the most viral. Check out this other article about why we shouldn’t let social memes and celebrities dictate our charitable actions.
Sorry to be the ice bucket on ice bucket challenge…I am not writing from a place of judgement or a stubborn refusal to join in, but it is always my practice and belief, that with most things we see on the internet, we should ask the right questions, do the necessary research, and then, make informed decisions.
We are meant to transform culture, not conform to it. (That’s my main point…This whole article was just so I could make that statement).
So to all those who nominated me…thank you, I love you, but no thanks! And to all my FB friends who I could have nominated, you can thank me later for not nominating you! 🙂
With that all being said, if you want to continue doing the challenge because it’s fun and you want to bring awareness to ALS…or just because you want to make a funny video…go for it. 🙂 But, please consider where you are putting your hard earned money. Donate with truth and wisdom.
Breaking News: Another reason why a person shouldn’t do the bucket challenge…it’s hazardous to your life!