Being part of a local community is just a microscope of the world at large surrounding us. I also realize that this has actually become a part of a bigger debate. To preface the rest of this paragraph, I want to state that I am neither saying I agree or disagree with any of the below statements – only that they have been debated publicly recently and people have felt passionately about both sides. Specifically related to ALS and the funding its received, Mike Rowe wrote an interesting perspective on his page about how the funding being thrown into ALS will be stripped from other charitable causes. There has also been much discussion lately about how “only” 27% goes into research – though truthfully I’d argue that the support given to families is also just as valuable (although surprisingly that is a smaller percentage than research). On an environmental level, here in California we are in the worst drought of 100 years and many people feel passionately about not wasting water. Even Matt Damon struggled with wasting clean water for the challenge because he has been passionate about helping third world countries get drinking clean drinking water through his Water.org foundation (in which he co-founded).
I personally can’t help but find myself torn. I have been vocal about our local water shortages and agree with most of the perspectives above. But I also have a high school teacher and former mentor who had ALS and passed away. Mr. Scott Mason was one of those teachers that you never forget. And so, rather than have to ‘pick a side’, I am straddling the line.
I plan on donating to ALS still. But rather than take it out of funds ear-marked for other charitable givings, I am increasing my charitable budget this month. We are still going to do the ice bucket challenge, but we will be recycling the water. My plan is to place water while waiting for it to heat during showers/dishes into a bucket and saving that. Then we’ll dump in our garden so that the plans get watered at the same time. And finally, I am going to match my contribution to ALS to Water.org – because I think that a small impact can go a long way with organizations such as theirs.
No matter how you choose to get involved, I urge you to do so in one way or another. Anything given, whether it be by giving a to a cause near and dear to your own heart, or just being vocal and helping to raise awareness – which the Ice Bucket Challenge has been AMAZING for – is instrumental in progressing help to those in need. Get involved, no matter how you choose.
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