Stop criticizing us for pouring ice water over our heads for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

August 22, 2014

in Mouthy Mabel

Ice bucket challenge

Mouthy mabelMost everyone with some tie to society has seen and heard of the ALS Association’s meme of the ice water challenge to raise funds and awareness for Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Many people across our country and beyond have gladly taken on the challenge when called out by someone else. We have laughed. We have screamed. And we have passed the torch to someone else. Yes I did this too. You can see mine here.

It has worked. It is estimated that 41 million dollars has been raised to help research this horrible disease to hopefully find a drug that can fight it and help those suffering with it.

Now…enter the naysayers.

It didn’t take long for the critics to start popping up on Facebook.

How dare you waste precious water by pouring it over your head! Americans are so wasteful! I’m so offended by your actions – don’t you know there are children dying of thirst in Africa?! I am so offended – HELLOOOO, we are in a drought situation over here and I have to save my bath water just to keep my plants alive!

And then there are the photos presented to drive the naysayers point straight like a punch in the stomach. The one I saw yesterday showed a photo of a large group of people pouring buckets of water over their heads. The second photo showed a relief worker from a third world country holding a small bowl of water for a child to drink.

How dare you take part in this wasteful american privilege stunt – you are so wrong to do that and you are a spoiled, mean person.

Listen…there will always be someone, somewhere, who is in a situation that is bad. There will always be someone, somewhere, who is hungry, thirsty, poor, has no shoes, or no shelter.

There will always be someone.

And yes it is heart wrenching. But if the world stopped doing positive things to raise money or help someone, so as not to offend someone else, nothing good would ever be done.

There are times when being politically correct is warranted. But there are other times when being politically correct doesn’t apply to the situation. This is one of those times.

If I was told that I could make the choice to either pour that bucket of water on my head, or mail it to a child in need – guess what I would have done? But guess what? I can’t mail water to Africa. Yes, Americans are pouring ice water over their heads. Thankfully, we are not a famine nation. We have the natural resources to do that. And we should not be made to feel ashamed because other people may not have ample supply.

Where does this stop?

I will tell you where it needs to stop. It needs to stop with people criticizing the ones who have joined in this meme. Those quick to criticize need to step away from their keyboard and gather their thoughts to hopefully put them in priority. $41 million dollars would not be there for ALS had this challenge not had its domino effect across the country.

I think that is quite impressive. And good. And a positive thing.

Don’t you?

Katie Short August 22, 2014 at 1:12 pm

I don’t understand. Where is the money coming from? Why WOULD that person or entity force you to waste water before giving to charity? There are some pieces missing here.

Deb McCormick August 22, 2014 at 2:59 pm

The money comes from those who do the ice water challenge. You accept the challenge and post your video which is a lot of fun and raises awareness for the cause, then you donate $ if you can, for however much you decide.
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Dr. Diana August 24, 2014 at 4:13 pm

Hello Deb,

Is there any min. limit to donate $.? And you’re right by uploading our ice water bucket challenge video we can earn money from YouTube. So, we can use that money also as a donation.

Thanks
Dr. Diana
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Deb McCormick August 25, 2014 at 8:59 pm

There is not a minimum at all. :) Some give 5 bucks, some give hundreds.
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Kim August 22, 2014 at 7:08 pm

Amen! I can’t afford to donate anything right now but I fully support what people are doing to help others and help researchers find a cure for this disease.

And you’re right, sometimes being politically correct IS warranted but this is not one of those times. People are too damn easily offended for their own good and it helps no one. Instead of complaining, shaddap and do something. *end rant*
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Deb McCormick August 25, 2014 at 9:00 pm

Thank you – couldn’t agree more!
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Mark August 25, 2014 at 9:31 pm

First, I fully support raising funds to find a cure for ALS.
Secondly, it’s a shame that the only way to raise money and/or awareness is to play on the arrogant, narcissistic egos of people who desire to be the center of attention rather than a direct appeal to their compassion for those not as fortunate to have their health.
Thirdly, not everyone’s battles are public and may be fought at great expense to the family both in time and money all out of the public’s eyes. How dare someone try to shame me or my wife into this spectacle not knowing the battles fought by us, the sacrifices of time, the sacrifices of having to stay out of the workforce for nearly 10 years, the sacrifices of medical bills into 6 figures on one salary supporting a family of four. How dare anyone question me or my wife on our lack of participating in this charity challenge. How dare you tell me that I am wrong for not donating. There was no charity to pay our bills. There was no charity to pay the hospital when everything went into collections. There was no charity to put food on the table, clothes, a home or anything else. It was by the undeserved grace of God that we survived. No, I am not bitter or angry at my situation. I would not change anything. God blessed us and took care of us in spite of ourselves. I am upset at every opportunity that people have in their own community to make a difference and they would rather send money to some far flung place than to take care of someone in their own backyard. I don’t discount the fact that funding is needed, but those who do this publicly have received their reward, whereas those who quietly sent money or quietly donate to local ministries, food banks, shelters, ect shall receive their reward in heaven. There in is where the error lies. Pride!

Deb McCormick August 26, 2014 at 9:06 am

Mark, I hear you and I’m sorry for the obstacles you have had to face. I had three infants (triplets) in NICU for weeks so I know first hand how medical bills can rack up just with our 20% insurance co-pay. We also did not qualify for any assistance with our bills and yet we watched many people on medicaid or with no health insurance at all leave the NICU hospital never owing a dime. Life is expensive and many times unfair for the working middle class.

As far as the ALS Challenge, I will disagree with you that people are doing this to satisfy their egos. I do not like being on video at all, so this was out of my comfort zone. I did it because I wanted to spread the word for ALS. No one is making anyone feel ashamed for not doing this challenge. I have yet to find any finger pointers out there criticizing the ones not choosing the challenge.

My words are directed at the people who are criticizing the ones doing the challenge.

What our world needs right now is Americans coming together and having some fun, laughing, and bringing some humor back into our world. Add to that the funds collected for ALS research and we have a very positive result.

There are many causes that need attention besides ALS. But all we can do is do what we can, when we can do it.

I wish you the best.
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Salma August 28, 2014 at 10:51 am

Hi Deb,

I’m not trying to pick apart your post- I didn’t miss the point, and my comment could be yet another roll your eyes waste of space, but Mark’s comment says that I’m not wrong in my assumption when he says “I am upset at every opportunity that people have in their own community to make a difference and they would rather send money to some far flung place than to take care of someone in their own backyard.”

I don’t do FB…I have no idea what’s on there. I want to try to articulate this comment as best I can. I THINK it’s offensive for people to send you, or anyone else for that matter the type of responses that you highlighted here. HOWEVER, it sure didn’t sound like it was Africans or even poor people sending these messages or criticizing the effort.

The issue that I have (that comes out in your post) is that it seems that there’s this AFRICA thing or “those people over there” thing going on all the time when it comes to poverty…raising money…etc, and I think it does rub people the wrong way. I mean this is an ALS Association thing that’s pretty American if you ask me- why the comparison to poverty in Africa is my first thought!?.

From what I’ve seen, a lot of people who are “poor” are trying to keep their head above water…working their butts off. They are not trolling the internet to criticize people for how they choose to fund-raise etc. What I have noticed however, is that a great deal of people who have “stuff” spend a lot of time justifying why they do what they do…have the things they have…making fun of /picking on other people on the net. It’s shocking actually.

I don’t think anyone should be able to say who should donate where…I donate to infant loss associations specifically because it is something that has touched me personally. So I get your post…my 2 teen daughters were psyched about the ALS challenge…their friends were too. Do things get political? Always. Is it ridiculous? Yes!

Sorry for the novel.
Salma
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Deb McCormick August 30, 2014 at 3:16 pm

Thank you Salma for your input.
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Jody August 28, 2014 at 6:37 pm

Definitely agree with your views there, people can say whatever they work but this campaign has worked really well and that’s all that matters.

Deb McCormick August 30, 2014 at 3:16 pm

Exactly.
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