The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and Giving
ALS Ice Bucket Challenge History
First, let's start with a history lesson. From Wiki:
The origins of the idea of dumping cold water on one's head to raise money for charity are unclear and have been attributed to multiple sources. During the Northern-Hemisphere winter of 2013–14, a challenge of unknown origin often called the "Cold Water Challenge" became popular on social media in areas of the Northern United States. The task usually involved the option of either donating money to cancer research or having to jump into cold water.
One version of the challenge started in New Zealand on July 4, 2014, with a fundraising page on behalf of the Cancer Society to help support patients and their families through the trauma of a cancer diagnosis. As with similar challenges, it was usually filmed so footage can be shared online.
The challenge was popularized in the United States on June 30, 2014, when personalities of the program, Morning Drive, which airs weekdays on Golf Channel, televised the social-media phenomenon, and performed a live, on-air ice bucket challenge. Soon after, on July 15, 2014, golfer Chris Kennedy did the Ice Bucket Challenge and challenged his cousin Jeanette Senerchia of Pelham, NY, whose husband, Anthony, has had ALS for 11 years. A day later she did the challenge while her 6-year-old daughter filmed her in front of their house. Senerchia's network on Facebook connected with Pat Quinn, a 31-year-old in Yonkers, NY, who was diagnosed with ALS in March 2013. Quinn called upon his friends and family. Soon, his whole network was posting challenges, including family in Florida, friends in Ireland and Greece, and a bar full of locals, which was broadcast on local television
Ice Bucket Challenge
Why All The Hype?
So let's get this straight -- this has been going on for years and yet this is really the first time that it's getting nationwide coverage? Let's think about why this could be the case right now:
- Facebook, Twitter and social networks make it easier and more acceptable to send photos and videos of people dumping buckets of icy water on their heads
- Serious VIP presence. Maybe it's a by-product of the first point given that Elon Musk and Bill Gates are trading jabs on Twitter before taking the bucket
- International love. Again, with the thriving social landscape, the world gets smaller and you end up with big time international icons doing the deed for charity
- We need a break from the bad news. Two weeks into the tragedy at Ferguson, ongoing bombing of ISIS, the beheading of a journalist, and all of this is on top of our regular news coverage of bad economy and rampant crime
- The movie Frozen. Thinking about it -- we're still reeling from "Let It Go" and "For the First Time in Forever" that maybe we just wanted to see more and more ice.
Would you do the Ice Bucket Challenge to raise $100
Would you do the Ice Bucket Challenge to raise $100
The Spirit of Giving
The latest update says that over $31 million has been raised because of the ice bucket challenge and all of the news coverage. That's fantastic that in this world where we constantly have to come up with reasons for hope that so many people are participating for a cause like this.
And then I thought about all the wonderful charities we have in the nation. We're really fortunate to have hard-working volunteers for top-tier organizations with low overhead costs that are able to put the bulk of proceeds directly into research and prevention. And I think the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation is probably the best example that we have of that. Who would have that the man who ruled Microsoft would effectively lead the fight against disease and education reform?
And then I thought about when I walk through the shopping mall and I'm approaching by really shady looking characters with a thin binder and talking about an organization I've never heard of. Now, it's not like the guy at the mall is the Craiglist or email scammer related to the Nigerian prince, but who really knows, right? Why is it that for as much as we give to great organizations, we also willingly give to unproven fronts and shell corporations?
Even when I was at my lowest financially I made sure to make monthly donations to my charity of choice, because not only does it make the world a better place, but it's the least I can do. And seeing all the giving and joy around the ice bucket challenge really make me want to give more to my charity this month. Maybe I'll even go visit the guy at the mall and find out if he really would use my $1 to help feed hungry children in Africa.
Bill Gates Ice Bucket Challenge
I believe that being frugal and making smart money choices is like any other exercise. As we continue to practice good habits in saving money where possible, finding deals for what we want, and having a good time at it, then we become better at dealing for a living.
I'm committed to sharing my experiences with getting the most out of using credit cards, saving and spending tips, and I might even add a slice of perspective without trying to be a psychoanalyst like some other personal finance folks out there.
Please let me know what you think and if you'd like to hear my take on a specific topic.
PS. I've also started writing on my own site: dealforaliving.com.