by Ricky Mulvey
The Ice Bucket Challenge has done some great things. It’s raised awareness and millions for a terrible disease, and brought many together for a common cause.
But at the risk of becoming “The Grinch of the Ice Bucket Challenge,” here we go: something about The Challenge doesn’t sit right with me.
The other day a couple friends asked to nominate me, and I declined. I don’t like the set up of it: get $100 together or be put in a icy, uncomfortable situation. Instead I promised to donate some cash to “Nothing But Nets,” an organization that gives mosquito nets to families in need where malaria threatens lives. Why? Because I wanted to give through my own motivations rather than out of pressure. Everyone should be encouraged to give, but I’m not qualified to tell you exactly how to do it. I’ll do me, and you do you.
All of this ice dumping is being done for a great cause, and I get that it’s supposed to be fun but part of the movement seems like a bit of shakedown. It’s fine to run, dance, swim, or whatever you do for a cause, but to dump the burden on someone else changes the dynamic of giving entirely.
Plus, those that dump ice on their heads are not even donating in some cases. Many do, but I find it a little brash to say I dumped ice on my head, now you have to or donate money… and oh by the way I did not donate anything myself. Is it not a double standard to donate nothing, then volunteer your friends to donate $100 within a 24 hour window?
In a few years, will this be the new way of giving charity? Post a video, then publically shout at your Facebook friends to get involved, or do something unpleasant? If this becomes the new way of promoting charity, giving becomes an alternative to punishment rather than a kind effort.
So while the efforts are laudable, I think we should question the paradigm of its execution.