The Ice Bucket Challenge Fallout. Or to put it another way: Why I Did the Ice Bucket Challenge.
As you may or may not have seen, yesterday I completed a cheat version of the Ice Bucket Challenge. I did it in Lego form. You can see my video here: Lego Ice Bucket Challenge. But I did want to address something about the Ice Bucket Challenge that I couldn’t fit into a short video. So here’s a little bit, from my perspective, about the fallout of the Ice Bucket Challenge.
It’s hard to avoid it- when a fad is on the tv, news and swarming the social media sites. I think you’d have to be to living under a rock to avoid at least hearing about them. The Ice Bucket Challenge is no different – and the media is saturated with celebs and mates nominating each other before dunking themselves with ice-cubes and water.
Inevitably each fad gets the extreme fans, the complacent crew and the haters. That’s the way the Internet works. Everyone gets to voice their opinion – this blog is a perfect example of just that. But in all seriousness this fad is different, because of its roots. It’s about raising awareness and donating to a charity the specialises in the cure for ALS which is a strain of Motor Neurone Disease – people donate to an ALS charity in America and people -who have read up on it- donate to MNDA (Motor Neurone Disease Assosiation) if you live in the UK. Both charities are raising money for research to find cure for the disease, but this Ice Bucket Challenge also helps raise awareness about ALS and MND. It also raises the awareness of the charities. Which has proved a bit of a sore point for some.
This is addressed to the haters. The arguments fall into two main categories. Either they are upset with the method “we are using up so much clean water” (when so many people around the world don’t have any!) or they are upset with the recipient, that “the ‘ALS’ charity gives a massive percentage of its money to the founders and directors and not enough on research”.
Lets address the water issue first. I hate to say it, but this is the classic Mum and child argument:
“Eat all your vegetables.”
“There are starving children in the world, now eat it up.”
While the statement is true, 5-year old me, eating his vegetables isn’t gonna save starving children in Africa. Sorry but that’s just the way it is. It DOES however (or SHOULD), make me grateful for the food that I am given. In the same way – the water thing – let it be a celebration that we have clean water and lets be thankful that we do! If it’s that big of an issue for you – donate to a charity that is providing water to a country that needs it. But don’t think that you not tipping water on you is gonna be able to give other countries more water. Sorry it just doesn’t work like that!
Second issue – the charity division of money. Ok, I’m not sure if this your first time looking into a charity – but guess what, for some people this is their full-time job. Now, I realise that some people are quoting extortionate salaries for some of the top dogs in these charities, which may not be ethical. But here’s the deal – they have done the job! They have raised awareness to a RIDICULOUS level here. And I can’t see any other way to help contribute towards a MND cure. I find it hilarious that a lot of English people are pointing the finger at the ALS charity – when in actual fact, if we’re interested in helping cure ALS in the UK – we should be focusing on the MNDA Charity anyway! Which is a whole different charity! So get over it and cough up your cash.
All this to say, I really think that kicking up a stink for stink’s sake just isn’t worth it. Your arguments are flawed because at the end of the day, this is about tipping water on our head and donating the cost of a Starbucks to a charity. Just ‘coz we’re all a bit touchy about making fools of ourselves and giving away our hard-earned cash, we look for the best arguments to not do that. It’s human nature. But this is beyond us. This is beyond little me trying to solve the world. There are bigger fish in the sea who are looking into the solution for curing this horrible disease. I’m not convinced that the MNDA suffer from the same bureaucracies that the ALS supposedly do, but even if they did – if I have to give £5 to enable £2 of that to go to curing the disease – I say it’s worth it. Let the charity directors take on the £3 in their own conscience. At least I did what I thought was right.
Am I saying you have to do the Ice Bucket Challenge when nominated? No. But if you don’t want to do, just say ‘I don’t want to do it’ – instead of making up arguments based on other peoples rants. And maybe, if you can, you should consider donating.
Don’t hear me wrong, I think it’s very prudent and wise to look into the charities you are giving to. And if you aren’t happy with the way that ALS or MNDA are condoning themselves, then donate to another charity. But one thing is for sure, I think that the fact that hundreds of thousands of people are joining in together to help support charities is a good thing. And if you think that the better solution is to form a protest and kick up a stink, I’m very sorry for you – ‘coz you totally missed the point. Besides guess what, giving away money actually helps us build character and proves that life isn’t always about holding onto your riches (or non-riches!!!).
Rant over. I love you all really.