First, some time ago, I wrote a blog on stupid “Awareness” campaigns for breast cancer, where people Vague-booked stuff to supposedly raise awareness of breast cancer. You might remember the color-of-your-bra campaign (which bothered several breast cancer survivors who no longer wore bras, I may add), the “where I put my purse” posts, or the random fruit posts.
Wait, you forgot about them? Great awareness, huh.
In any case, we’re going through another bout of “Awareness” raising.
Do you know what ALS is?
It’s also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. And from ALSA.org, here is the definition:
Just what is ALS?
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed.
It’s a horrible disease, and there is limited treatment. It is a good cause to support. I’m not arguing any of that. In fact, if you want to actually make a difference, here’s a direct link to their donation form!
Taking five minutes to donate five dollars and sharing that you donated $5 goes way further than, say, daring someone to pour a freaking bucket of ice on their head. Really. After this fad is over, who will still remember what ALS stands for? Most people have forgotten that it’s the same thing as Lou Gehrig’s disease and what this awful disease did to him. There will be a memory of people pouring ice over their head, not what it’s for.
So, no. I don’t accept your damned #icebucketchallenge.
I’ll write a blog post that explains the disease and gives people ways to actually help. I think that is more useful than pouring ice over my head.
Furthermore, what gives you—anyone—the right to demand I give $100 to a cause not of my own damned choosing?
This is what gets me the most about this. Do you know that I’ve supported ALS already? Several times, in fact, through staying up for 24 hours blogging? Sharing other information? And even if I didn’t, do you have any idea how much money I’ve given to animal rescue? To cancer research? To hospice care? To individuals directly who were dying of cancer, families who have lost their breadwinner, authors about to lose their homes because we get sh*t for pay and insurance? Have you any idea?
No, no you don’t. For the individuals, I give anonymously. For the stuff I keep receipts for because it can be deducted for taxes? None of your damned business.
So don’t demand I give $100 that I do not currently have if I don’t decide to do some silly action.
You want to go on a 5K to raise $ and awareness for ALS, if that’s your preferred charity, I’ll dig into my wallet and support what I can. Same for hunger. And, because I’m selfish and know even more people affected by cancer, more than a few who have recently died, I’ll give even more if you’re doing a cancer walk. Hell, I might even join you. That gets something accomplished. And that’s YOUR choice; you’re just asking me for support. And I support a lot.
Just don’t freaking TELL me what I have to donate for! Don’t give me a freaking “do this or else” ultimatum. Don’t guilt me over it.
Then you’re just pissing me off.
I was at a party recently with someone who had a form of ALS. The person said something to the effect of, “If people wanted to really help ALS, they’d film themselves staring at the bucket of ice and then making the $100 donation.”
Do you have the spare $100? Can you do that? Then don’t assume I can, either!
I refuse the #icebucketchallenge, and I certainly am not challenging anyone to do that.
If you want to help, here’s the donation link again. ALSA has a 30% overhead for running their organization, which is a % I can live with supporting. (And if you don’t know the overhead of the charity you’re giving to, find out. Some non-profits have 80%-90% overhead, so a whopping 10 cents of every dollar actually goes to HELP PEOPLE. Research!)
I’m all for people helping fund research for a cure or helping those afflicted with the disease get through their life. Go donate.
Leave the damned ice for chilling drinks.