Over the past few weeks, I haven't been able to escape the ALS campaign. Whether in my social feeds or in real world conversations, the Ice Bucket Challenge was everywhere. It even took over mainstream news after many celebrities got on board. After all, watching your favorite actors and TV personalities dump water on their heads is a rare treat. If you scour my digital feeds, however, you'll see nothing about the challenge. Perhaps you'll find the numerous times I was called out to participate, but you'll fail to locate any sort of response from me.
Why is that?
Please allow me to list the many reasons.
Charity is a Personal Thing
I consider myself an extremely philanthropic individual. Not only did I spend a ton of my developing entrepreneurial career assisting in the building of the Orlando non-profit organization, Rock for Hunger, but I also consider every Friday #FundraiseFriday as an excuse to donate my personal funds to a charity of my choice on a weekly basis. While I won't go so far to say the ALSA isn't worthy of my money, it's evident that I have more of a connection with other positive initiatives around the world.
It's Not About You
My biggest problem with the Ice Bucket Challenge is that too many participants are making it about them. I get it - it's a great opportunity for the average funnyman to do something outrageous, but to me, that's not participating in a good cause. That's just riding a trendy wave to get more attention.
Where's the Passion?
No one should blindly donate either their time or money to an organization they haven't researched prior. Additionally, if research has been carried out, one should be excited about the cause and not the excitement of the bucket of ice cold water. Throughout all of the videos I've seen, I have yet to learn one thing about the charity. Rarely do any participants even link out to a website.
No one should EVER feel obligated to take part in a charitable movement. This notion crosses so many personal boundaries, and not just for the reasons above. How about we just let goodwill happen naturally through the kindness of the hearts of humankind? That sounds much more scalable to me.
As someone that invests a lot of time and money into the betterment of developing countries, I cringe at the concept of the campaign. We're actually taking clean water, dumping it on our heads, sharing it with the world, and treating it as a win? How supercilious is that to those that don't have any clean water to drink? Of course, they aren't seeing these videos, but if you try to argue that point, you simply don't get it anyway.
Where the Funds are Going
After some research, I learned that the ALSA perform tests on animals that are often the topic of many debates. I'd rather stick with charities that are ONLY leading with their hearts and goodwill. I'd rather not participate in any sort of controversy.
First, Never Last
If you know me, I pride myself on leading. You'll very rarely find me doing something AFTER it becomes "cool" to do it. At that point, I just say no.
The aforementioned is merely a list of reasons why I didn't personally participate in the Ice Bucket Challenge. It doesn't mean I don't appreciate what is actually happening here. Positive movements are wonderful things, especially when they work out this well. Let's use this momentum as a starting point to get more people involved in good causes around the world.
Here's a short list of some of my favorite resources right now. The following links make it easy to be philanthropic every single day.
- Google One Today - https://onetoday.google.com
- Donors Choose - http://www.donorschoose.org
- Help One Now - https://www.helponenow.org
- Kiva - http://www.kiva.org
- Free Rice - http://freerice.com
Please participate in #FundraiseFriday every week and use the hashtag to help spread the concept of weekly charitable donations.