ICE THIS

I did the ALS ice bucket challenge. Just like everyone else.

For those who don’t know, the ice bucket challenge is a viral campaign to raise awareness for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). ALS is an evil bastard of a disease. It really is vile. It’s a neurodegenerative disease that slowly robs you of your ability to do anything. Including breathe. And currently there is no cure. 

The challenge is pretty simple: you film yourself having ice water dumped over your head or you donate money to ALS research. You also nominate three people to do the challenge. Those people then have 24 hours to douse themselves or donate.

So for the last month, people have been posting videos on Facebook of themselves giddily sitting on lawn chairs under the summer sun, bracing for the shock of ice water, and laughing in the icy aftermath as someone offscreen quickly hands them a towel. Evidence of people doing anything they can to get out of making a charitable contribution while laughing with their friends.

Pretty much the most annoying thing ever.

But I will say, it’s hard  to be mad at anyone for this. Whoever came up with the challenge is brilliant. It’s gotten me to think a whole lot about ALS. A lot more than I used to. Which was never. The people doing it might be doing it because it’s the thing to do while they’re not posting photos of their kid’s first day of school or because they really don’t want to donate money or because they needed an excuse to get in front of the camera in swimwear—but they’re keeping awareness alive (and possibly sparing us from pouty-faced selfies).

Before I was nominated, I tried  to flip the concept on its head and actually raise money with a video. I offered to take the ice bucket challenge wearing a pink wig and the meat saq if people donated $1000 to ALS. My attempt earned a $50 pledge (hey, if you’re reading this Fuchs, just give that $50 to alsa.org).

Then I got nominated by my best friend. So I made this protest video. But I also donated. And it was heartening to see the warning on the ALS Association website’s thank you page:

THANK YOU! Due to overwhelming response to the Ice Bucket Challenge, it may take us up to 24 hours to complete the processing of your gift and to e-mail you your receipt. Please be assured that your donation was received. 

 

So I’m happy to be annoyed and momentarily wet if it leads to an “overwhelming response.”

Here’s my video. I nominate you.

 

 

4 Comments

  1. Way ahead of you, brother. Glad to see you actually researched the illness and donated. Not everyone does. I read about the overwhelming response they’ve had and that part was awesome.

    • jeffandjill

      08/25/2014 at 9:47 am

      Yeah. It’s been annoying to watch. Like all viral things. But at the same time it restores a little faith in humanity. I’d love to see something like this move on to other causes. Charity and participatory entertainment make a powerful combo.

  2. I am terribly impressed by the money that has been raised! I hope the next campaign (whatever that may be) does as well.

    • jeffandjill

      08/26/2014 at 10:14 am

      I was shocked. I thought people would just ride the bandwagon as far as the attention took them and then just abandon it, leaving it stripped and up on blocks in a vacant lot. Instead, they gave. And my cynicism turned to shame. Also a blog post. A shameful blog post. But I’m happy to eat this delicious crow. Go humanity!

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