So you have seen people dunking themselves with bucket full of icy cold water over their heads and bodies…
From Hollywood celebs such as Justin Bieber (whether you love or hate him, this guy has done it twice), Taylor Swift, Real Madrid footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, Mark Zuckerberg who challenged Bill Gates to do the same to Britney Spears, Lady GaGa and David Beckham (who has done it shirtless!! *GASP*) to our local celebrities like 987fm DJs, George Young (who in my opinion, is rather bold to have challenged our PM Lee Hsien Loong – who had 24 hrs since the challenge was put forth but till now, no news have been heard). President Obama was challenged too who declined but agreed to donate a sum) and Tosh Zhang to top celebs from HK such as G.E.M, Jay Chou, Eason Chen and even Andy Lau.
With these videos and snapshots, you may have also seen these hashtags #icebucketchallenge, #alsicebucketchallenge and #strikeoutals accompanied in their captions.
And you may be wondering what does ‘ALS’ stand for?
Extracted from ASLA’s website, ‘ALS’ stands for :
“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.”
If you want to learn more about this disease, read here.
So why is that if someone wants to donate to charity, they are required to “sacrifice” or “torture” or go to such extend to do so?
This viral challenge was initially for those who either dump themselves silly with the ice cold water or donate $100 to the ALS Association. After soaking themselves wet, they can then challenge others the same.
Honestly, the initial intention (which I don’t suppose anyone really refused to donate and rather get soaked instead) is rather silly.
Perhaps this was the very intention of the charity organisation since most people would donate to charities AND get soaked for the fun of it or just to follow the trend since the combination with the power of social media and influential powers of top-notch celebs, who would first be lashed at should they refuse to do BOTH.
True enough, this viral challenge has actually helped to bring in more ka-ching. The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has raised millions upon millions of dollars for the ALS Association and has helped to raise awareness about the disorder.
As of the date of writing this post, the ALS Association has raised over $31.5 million thus far and it keeps growing!
However, some burning questions I have collated the back of my mind.
1. Is there really a need to dunk oneself in order to donate?
No, if someone really wants to donate for a good cause, he or she would do it genuinely without having the need to carry out all these silly actions.
Now, before you lash at me, let me qualify my statement first.
On the flip side, this challenge has actually gone viral and has successfully create so much awareness about this charity organisation as well as the existence of the disorder. It has actually gone ‘global’ which originally started out at the West and now even to the East side of the globe! All because of this viral challenge which would not been that successful if people were to just spread the word and say ‘Hey, do you know about this XXX charity organisation? Pls donate’.
And because people, especially celebs whose pride and reputation are extremely important and more so than us nobodys, it is difficult for them to decline the challenge (except for President Obama and most probably our PM LSH) and refuse to donate as well since they receive huge pay checks!
So, there is really no need to go through all these silly stances just to donate for good causes BUT it must be noted that it has been VERY successful in creating more awareness and driving the donation campaign. It is USEFUL in the marketing perspective just not totally necessary, technically speaking.
2. Should people actually refuse to take up the challenge?
There is no hard or fast rule and it is NOT compulsory to take up the challenge, since the ultimate goal is to donate money to the charity.
So President Obama has refused to take up the challenge but will still donate….and there is still no news from our PM Lee.
It is alright if they don’t take up the challenge but I’m guess that if they join in the trend/fun, it may most probably help to create greater awareness since they are top influential political figures who have loads of watchful eyes cast upon them?
What’s your take?
3. What about other charity organisations?
I know there are tonnes and tonnes of charity organisations and there can never be an absolution donation campaign that caters to all donation organisations.
However, there are also others which face pressing and urgent issues to help increase $$ and the dire need to create awareness of their presence.
I don’t know how successful this would work but perhaps after taking up and completing the challenge, top figures can actually remind the public to not only donate to one charity organisation but donate on a regular basis to others as well, if possible.
But then again, judging at how successful this campaign is, it will be no surprise if other charity organisations start following suit.
Anyhoo, let us salute to those who took up the challenge and successfully completed it and most importantly, donated.
KUDOS AND WELL DONE!!! (Y)
Rest in Peace.