Put on Your Optimistic Lenses and Take a Closer at the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
There is much backlash to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. People are calling the fundraiser “slacktivism”, arguing that pouring ice on your head doesn’t solve anything – well of course it doesn’t, we already knew that. I sure hope people are not naive enough to think that pouring ice water on their heads will cure ALS. The objective of the ALS Ice Bucket challenge is to 1. raise money and 2. raise awareness. Finding a cure is the most unrealistic and absurd objective for a fundraiser. These small acts of “slacktivism” aggregate into a large impact and reach the goals of ALSA campaign. 111.1 million dollars is not a small chunk of change. The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has been more effective than other fundraisers that require much participation and that require little from those participating and raising funds.
Another Cynical Critique of he ALS Ice Bucket Challenge…
What are the real rules of the Ice Bucket Challenge? – Do you pour ice water on your head as a punishment for not donating? Do you have to donate even if you do pour ice water on your head? Do you donate less if you participate in the ice dumping and more if you don’t? – Does it even matter what the real rules are? I would argue, no. I think the vague, subjective rules had a positive impact of the success of the campaign. People feel there are not specific stipulations. If they are able to give, they will, and they will most likely give a lot. If they are financially unable to give, then maybe they will nominate someone who is more able, or maybe, just maybe the whole point and success of the campaign is just to get people talking about ALS about the effects about the stories.
At my family dinners conversation normally consists of my brother-in-laws newest homebrew, the latest disaster from my mom’s seventh grade science class, or my sister’s patient in the ER that almost died and the copious amounts of blood involved. However, when I was home a few weeks ago my entire family was engaged in a conversation around ALS the effects,the stories, the controversy of the challenge, and then my sisters and I (who had all been nominated) carried out our challenges and my family donated as a whole to ALSA. Maybe this is the whole point of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge to create conversation, awareness, and funds – and I would argue its working. But do not just take my college student word for it. The proof is in the pudding and the pudding in this case is $111.1 million and counting.