Thursday, August 28, 2014

The ALS Bucket Challenge and Snarky Memes

The Lifespan of a Trend

First there are the accolades: "What a great idea! Hope it catches on!"

Then there is the excitement: "Let's all do it!"

Then there is the peak: "We're all doing it!"

The tapering off: "We're all doing it."

The trickling off: "Sorry I'm late with this, but now I (your grandmother) will now do this."

To ambivalence: "Are we still doing this?"

Denial: "I never felt the need to do this."

And, finally, the hate: "What sort of idiot does this?"

If you don't want to do the ALS Bucket Challenge, don't. If you don't want to give to ALS research, then don't.

Nobody cared about the California drought before this, including the many golf courses and green lawns found throughout that state. The ALS Bucket Challenge is not causing the California drought or threatening the water supply in Africa.

You can't deny, though, that this "stunt" raised plenty of money to combat a horrible disease. That is a good thing -- get it? Disease: Bad. Curing bad disease: Good.

Do you have some problem you want eradicated for which you need to raise money? Try just asking people. I guarantee you won't get far.

Involve them in the effort and you'd be surprised.

That's why people run 5Ks or walk around a track all night long for cancer research. That's why people walk 20 miles around their own town for environmental causes.

So, please, enough with the snarky memes on YouTube and Facebook. Certainly there are more constructive things to be angry at than caring citizens who are just having a little fun while doing a little good.

Besides, if I thought it would raise enough money for the farm, I'd be happy to dump a bucket of ice water over Dirtman's head!


Sandy R. said...

I'll lay the first $20 out there for the "Dirtman Dumpathon."

Sisiggy said...

We just had a pile of horse manure donated...I am actually considering a significantly different challenge...

Dorothy-Jean Chapman said...

How many pictured and videoed folks actually donated money to the ALS cause?
I fear for the ALS organization with the sudden influx of big bucks. Money requires time to allocate as well as to invest - that requires experts.
And what about all the other orphan diseases languishing out there that have no backing? The people who suffer from other, similar neurological degenerative diseases scramble just to afford medication.
I would like to see ice bucket dumps for categories of diseases; the better to fund research which provides info and hope for more people than one small group.

Sisiggy said...

Let me put my Non-Profit Fundraiser hat on for a sec! Actually, research has shown that people who donate do not donate instead, they donate in addition to. In other words, people are not taking from one cause and giving to another; they will merely add the new donation on to what they already give.

Since ALS is a form of muscular dystrophy, any advances made in combating one will surely aid the research of the whole.

I think if there are people to get angry at, you might consider this phenomenon: You would think that as people got richer, a greater percentage of their income would be spent on charities. Actually, the reverse is true. Those just above the poverty line (the "lower middle class") actually give the largest percentage of their income and it drops incrementally after that, with the greatest drop being just before you get to that infamous upper one percent we keep hearing about.

As for how many actually donated, I can only speak for those I know. But the ALS people have certainly reported money rolling in. I imagine the follow-through percentage is about the same as any fund drive that requires "pledges" -- which is usually between 90 and 100 percent (we got 100 percent of our three pledges when we did a fund drive...)