I was nominated by a friend late last week, to take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and I did it this weekend. I filled my bucket from the hose and added ice cubes, before donning my black velvet and white satin sheath evening gown, my string of pearls, and my long white satin gloves. Hubby and Little Guy each grabbed a camera to videotape this prestigious moment. And Big Guy did the honours…
I’m pretty sure most of North America has heard about this challenge, and the backlash against it has started. Most recently, Scott Gilmore wrote an article about “why the ice bucket challenge is bad for you”, and while he may have raised some valid points to consider, I didn’t appreciate being told that I had just made an incredibly poor choice in participating and donating to this cause. Gilmore wrote “The marketing gimmick is very clever. It is short, immediately understandable, and like the most popular forms of slacktivism, it is easy to do, entertaining to watch, and narcissistically self-promoting”.
Normally I am a very conservative, extremely thoughtful person. I believe strongly in being generous and wise steward of the resources that God has given me. I have finite resources and I cannot give to every charity that has a need – and most have great needs. But I found Gilmore’s assertion that ALS is not a particularly worthy cause in which to donate, seems callous. While statistically it may be a “rare disease and, thankfully, only about 600 people die from it every year in Canada,” and “ALS research is not an urgent need” as Gilmore states, I seriously doubt those living with this disease or caring for loved ones, would appreciate his assessment. There are approximately 36,000 ALS cases in Canada and the U.S.
I thought this particular challenge was very cool (no pun intended). It was something that everyone could do, regardless of age or physical ability. I watched a friend in her 70s do it, and I watched a friend’s son do it (he’s 18 months old). Did I enjoy watching others’ videos? Yes I did! Did I think they were being narcissistic, foolish, or “craven sheep”? No I did not! Personally, I was thrilled to be nominated where normally I am overlooked. Personally, I enjoyed the sense of community as I laughed at, and laughed with others through various social media venues. And you know what, maybe I did look like “a craven sheep”…but at least I did so with style!