If you haven’t heard about the ALS ice bucket challenge by now, you’ve obviously checked out from life. The challenge was started by Corey Griffen, whose friend Pete Frates suffers from ALS, to raise awareness of Lou Gehrig’s disease, the ALS foundation, and raise money to find a cure.
It has become wildly popular with celebrities, sports figures, and even politicians everywhere taking the challenge and donating money to the program. Celebrities such as Conan O’Brien, Chris Pratt, and Nick Offerman, and public figures like Bill Gates, George Bush, and even Mitt Romney while wearing a suit. But more importantly, people all across America are doing it. Normal, average, everyday people like you, and together we’ve managed to raise over 40 Million dollars, so far.
There is a dark note to this fantastically successful sensation. In a tragic twist, Corey Griffen, who started this viral sensation and wildly successful fundraising initiative died tragically while celebrating the success of his idea. But nearly as tragic, are those who are critical of this viral trend calling it a waste of precious water. Worse, they point to the lack of clean water in Africa a reason why we shouldn’t waste water here. I find that reasoning to be along the same lines as that of General Ripper from Dr. Strangelove. Perhaps there’s a better way to get people to donate, but if it takes a cold shower for America to donate over $40 million to a great cause while raising awareness, perhaps we should take more challenges like this.
ALS is far from the only charity out there and while I do want everyone to take the ALS ice bucket challenge and donate there is another cause I wanted to make you aware of, Extra Life. Extra life is a unique way for people to raise money by playing video games for 24 hours. Longer than the ice bucket challenge but considerably warmer and more comfortable.
My good friend, Tim Wells, has been featured on Extra Life because of his daughter who was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at the age of 4. She spent the next 3 years in and out of hospitals enduring treatments that would make most of us cringe just reading about it. Tim has issued his own challenge that my wife and I have already happily donated to and hope you will too.
So, criticize if you want, complain about those trying to steal your essence or pollute your precious bodily fluids. The rest of us will continue to take cold showers and game for 24 hours and raise money for worthy causes. Who knows, you might end up seeing a grown man dress up as Elsa from Frozen. And that alone, is worth the donations that will change lives.