For a couple of weeks now, I have been seeing people post videos of doing the “Ice bucket challenge” which is a way the ALS Association has increased awareness of the disease and the need to raise money for research and treatment. They’ve done a great job in doing both, raising millions of dollars with this one campaign than anything they’ve been able to do in the past for themselves, and that is awesome.
This “challenge” was given to me and Wil by our friend, Rileah Vanderbilt, who, in her own video, acknowledged the drought we are currently living in and instead used a bucket of pool water before being shoved into that pool by a friend. I accepted the challenge by silently donating to the organization but I didn’t make a video about it, and that’s ok.
I understand the entire country isn’t in a drought. I live in California, which is a desert that is experiencing a pretty bad drought so we need to conserve our water. So much so that our city is issuing tickets if sprinklers are running on days not designated for your zone, and our local car washes are required by law to use reclaimed water to clean cars. I understand that this ice bucket challenge is the equivalent of one showers’ worth of water, but when thousands of people are doing that, it makes me cringe to watch it. I would rather use that water for an actual shower anyway. But that doesn’t mean I don’t support an organization that has desperately needed a way to bring awareness and funding to them, in case that isn’t clear.
Wil and I donate thousands of dollars every year to charitable organizations, we just don’t advertise it because we are asked dozens of times a day on Twitter to donate/support/retweet/make a video for a charity thing that someone is supporting. It isn’t that we don’t care, it’s just that publicizing support of one thing opens the door to attacks from others on why we aren’t supporting a cause that someone else is supporting.(Yes, that happens ALL the time.) I have learned that I can make more of an impact by focusing on a few charities that mean a lot to me personally, and do as much as I can to help them. And along the way, when a friend or a family member is supporting a cause that means something to them, I donate to that as well.
Supporting charities is a wonderful way to give help and hope to others, or to support an organization that is helping you or someone you love through a difficult time. We have done it for years, and will continue to do so. If you haven’t before, it’s never too late to start. You’ll be glad you did, even if you don’t make a video about it.