Saturday, August 16, 2014

More Than a Drop in the Bucket

If you haven’t heard of the Ice Bucket Challenge that’s sweeping the country, you either live under a rock or don’t belong to any social media platforms. In that case, you won’t see this post either.

As I watched my Facebook wall fill up with videos from this challenge, I kept my fingers crossed that I wouldn’t be called out. Not because I didn’t think it was for a good cause, but because I’m a sissy with cold water. I can barely get in a pool if the water temperature is below 85 degrees. Just sticking my toe in the cold Atlantic gives me frostbite. Even in the summer I still take a scorching hot shower. Yep...a bit of a cold water sissy.

Anyway, Jason was the first in our house to be challenged. I feared he would call my name, but he knew I didn’t want to, so being the thoughtful (or fearful) husband that he is, he didn’t do it. Then Abby was called out by a friend. She wanted to nominate me, but I was sly and convinced her to choose her friends. But then my luck ran out. I was nominated by my friend, Jill. I completed the challenge and screamed as that icy water dripped down my back, causing instant hypothermia. After a hot shower and a cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee to warm up my shivery bones, I made my donation to Simple.

Like with most everything today, some people have tried to put a negative light on this. I’ve come across a number of articles that try to put an unfavorable spin on the whole thing. Really? What’s the point? If someone truly doesn’t want to do the challenge, they are not required to do so. If they don’t complete the challenge they are supposed to donate $100. However, there are no ice bucket police going around arresting those who don’t donate. The challenge and donating are done by choice.

There really isn’t a negative to this event. For those who weren’t familiar with the neurodegenerative disease known as ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, there is now more awareness. Also, as of today, the ALS Association has surpassed $10 million in “ice bucket” donations. This provides funds to help fight this incurable disease that usually takes the life of a person within 2 to 5 years of being diagnosed. In addition to these important reasons, it seems people are having fun doing it. Awareness, raising money, and fun...hmmm...don’t see the issue.

If ALS isn’t what you’re interested in supporting, choose something that is meaningful to you. Run a 5K to raise money for cancer research. Join a walk to support the National Kidney Foundation. Or just make a cash donation to another foundation that is important to you or someone in your life. It’s up to you!

So while I didn’t necessarily love the icy water pouring down my body, I did like the overall premise of this challenge. It was started with good intentions and it appears to have made a positive impact for the ALS Association. Laughing along with these videos and having fun with friends and family seems like a pretty good side effect to the cause.

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