It’s getting to that point now where the #icebucketchallenge has had maximum exposure and frankly people are starting to get a bit bored of it.
This can be a good thing (as it has sparked a surge in creative and super-entertaining ways to carry out the challenge) but it’s also worth remembering that apathy and charity don’t mix well and unfortunately, people are starting to miss the point. The media has been completely saturated (pardon the pun) with videos of people dousing themselves in ice water and nominating friends to do the same but very few actually appear to know why they are doing it.
Raising awareness is a vital part of charity fundraising and without it, we would never have known what ALS is. You still don’t know? It actually stands for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis which is one of five motor neuron disorders and is known by different names depending on your country of origin.
It’s hard to know what to believe on the internet but various sources suggest that ALS kills about 2 people in every 100,000. In contrast, coronary heart disease (CHD) kills about 400 people in every 100,000. Heart disease research receives very little support and publicity yet it is more likely to kill us than motor neuron diseases.
I don’t write this to undermine anyone’s contribution to the ALS or other related charities; my purpose is to make people a little bit more discerning about where their wealth is distributed and consider their own futures before jumping on a bandwagon for no other reason than to say you were on it with everyone else! In fact, as I’ve been writing this, I have found this interesting article from the BBC about the successes of the ice bucket challenge and how some have used it as nothing more than a way to enhance their own public profile.
Our Managing Director, Anthony Clarkson, made his donation to Cancer Research – a fitting choice as his family has been affected by the disease. And this, I think is the whole point of the Ice Bucket Challenge. Take your nomination, personalise it but take it seriously, and really consider the human behind the charity, the one who is actually going to benefit from the money you donate.