IT’S been in the news, on the TV, drowning social media, and even on the radio.
Most people have heard about it in the past few days, or since it burst to life late July. Of course, I’m talking about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.
As the weeks have progressed we see celebrities calling one another out to have themselves doused in freezing cold water, and donate to the ALS fund. I won’t deny that watching actors like Luke Evans [Dracula] and Chris Pratt [Guardians of the Galaxy] cover themselves in water while wearing tight white/grey shirts is quite enjoyable, but it’s made me stop and wonder: is this really what it takes to get money for charities anymore?
ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER THIS ADVERTISEMENT
What about all the people that donate year round to organizations like that? Is their contribution and dedication to be overshadowed by a gimmick that will fade away within the next few weeks?
Once the Ice Bucket Challenge dies down, and the gimmick fades, will the donations cease? The ALS association has already admitted that they have received $13.3 million in donations from July 29 to August 17 – a whopping 50 times the donations they normally receive this time of year. That’s fantastic news for an organization that truly needed the donations, but there are other charities and organizations out there just as deserving without the media hype.
It begs the question: If celebrities decided to challenge one another to run naked down the street to raise money for Unicef or World Vision, would we have cured world hunger by the end of the year?
Is that what it takes now for people to donate, or to remember that there are people out there that need help? Campaigns and half naked celebrities dripping wet? A media hype or trend so people feel part of the action?
It might be worth remembering that sometimes, a donation does more with the organizations that care for those suffering. Palliative Support groups and the like receive hardly any acknowledgement or help for the hard work they do, and we’re talking about a group of people that are there comforting those at the end of their lives. The people that certainly aren’t going to be benefiting from donations to Cancer Council or ALS with the limited time they have left.
So if the Ice Bucket Challenge has inspired you to donate then that’s great, go ahead and donate, but later this year try to stop and think about other charities that might need a little help, or groups that give their time to help others.
Like any trend or fad the hype fades, but the need for help and support never does.
Here’s your chance to get your opinion in front of a larger audience. And earn a dollar! Anything from the minutiae to the meaningful, the heartfelt to the humorous, if you’ve got an issue or a rant you think Gold Coasters need to read submit it to The Meddler. There’s $50 for each contribution published. Contributions should be under 400 words, please supply contact details including a phone number. The Meddler reserves the right to edit articles submitted. Please send to firstname.lastname@example.org