So over the past couple of weeks as I watched friend after friend and famous athlete after famous celebrity take the ice bucket challenge and post their videos on Social Media, it really made me smile. It also made me have a few of those “I love America” moments which if you know me, you know those don’t happen too often anymore. It also made me so happy to know that Social Media could be used for good things, like raising money for a horribly debilitating disease, spreading awareness to those who have never heard of the disease and uniting many people who choose to take the challenge and then go on and nominate friends and family to take the challenge.
But I was still, I admit, a bit skeptic! Were people who were accepting the challenge ACTUALLY donating as well? Or just taking the challenge to avoid paying the $100 you’re supposed to pay if you ignore the challenge? Were people taking a few moments out of their busy lives to learn about Lou Gehrig’s Disease?
And then… I was nominated.
For me personally, it was a simple “Yes, I’ll do it” but not without rolling my eyes and wanting to strangle my good friend Matt from Semester at Sea for nominating me 🙂
In the end, it was fun! If you call recording yourself dumping a pot full of freezing water filled with ice on yourself, in the bathtub, and then posting it on Facebook for hundreds of people to see, fun 🙂 It was also great to learn more about a new disease and then donate to the association. And yes, I did my research before taking the challenge. We learned a bit about this disease in nursing school but like most things in nursing school, I couldn’t remember much of the specifics. I also learned that not only is the money used to fund ALS research but it also goes directly to fund local services for those with ALS.
Last year at this time the ALS Association had raised $1.9 million during the same time frame that this challenge has been doing on – this year the ALS Association has raised $22.9 million as of today which includes donations from previous donors as well as more than 450,000 new donors! This is amazing!!!
I’ve heard some negative comments from a variety of people who have even gone out of their way to post long rants on Facebook about why they don’t agree with the challenge. I’ve heard complaints surrounding wasting water, complaints about the challenge being “narcissistic”, complaints about the challenge being “a waste” because people still aren’t learning about the disease.
Let’s fact check people — 22.9 million dollars have been raised as of today! And in my opinion, if even a few people learn more about the disease than mission accomplished! So stop being negative, take the challenge, spread awareness and have fun!