Thursday, 28 August 2014

Why I'm Not Doing The Ice Bucket Challenge

It seems like the whole world is doing it. The internet is full of clips of celebrities doing it. My Facebook timeline is full of videos of friends and family doing it. Over the weekend, I was nominated. And I haven't done it.

Does anyone really ever want to throw a bucket of ice cold water over their head? No, probably not. I understand that the reason for doing so is to replicate how ALS (or Motor Neurone Disease as it is known on these shores) sufferers might feel. And I applaud all those who have done it; it's a great idea that has really brought this disease to the attention of the world and raised a lot of money for a lesser known charity.

The thing is, over here in the UK the idea has been 'hijacked' by a very well known cancer charity. Now, I know we all know someone who has had their life touched by cancer, and we all know what a horrible, evil, cruel thing it is. But cancer charities get a lot of support - deserved, yes. But I don't think it's right to essentially steal the idea of another charity and use it for your own gain.

I'm not against raising awareness. I'm not against charity. I'm not against doing something a bit different. I just don't like the way that this cancer charity has gone about this, and as a result I'm not doing the challenge and I'm not paying the 'penalty' donation. I do support cancer charities, but I do so on my own terms. And if I'm going to make a donation for not taking part in this challenge, then I'm going to donate to a cause of my choosing; to a lesser known charity who I feel more of an affinity with.

Also, I'm not entirely comfortable with the amount of water that is just being carelessly thrown over people's heads for this challenge. In some parts of the world, people would be aghast that those who do take part in this challenge throw away perfectly clean water, when they don't even have access to that.

There's also the small issue that we don't possess a bucket...!

Have you done the ice bucket challenge? How do you feel about it?


  1. I did a lot of research on the ice bucket challenge and there are pros and cons. I did it for a different charity because I don't feel social media has the right to pressure me to donate to a charity that I didn't choose. I believe the consensus is that the ice bucket challenge started just to get people to donate to charity in general, and ALS is the one who high-jacked it (Wikipedia agrees).

    I don't really think that that matters though; I just think it's important for everyone to think about their reasons for doing something instead of just blindly following current trends. And I think every donation to any charity helps, even if you don't follow the rules and you do it your own way instead.

  2. I just don't think that dumping water over my head in front of a camera to support a charity is appropriate as long as many more people die from no access to clean water than the disease supported by said charity. Kudos for swimming against the flow, Jenni!

  3. I didn't know about the ALS hijack (as mentioned above) but the well known cancer charity jumping on the bandwagon really wound me up.

    Tonight I got nominated. And I'm not sure what I'm going to to do about it.

  4. I wasn't going to do it. If I got nominated, I was just going to make a donation to ALS. HOWEVER, one of my 6th graders from last year nominated me, and so I did it to be a good sport for the kids. A friend of mine also nominated me. If she had been the only one, I would've made a donation in an amount I could afford. I don't necessarily think it's fair to make people who don't want to dump ice water on themselves feel like they HAVE to give $100 if that's not in their budgets.

  5. We used lake water for it this weekend - so so gross and bits of seaweed in it!

  6. Thanks for bringing up the water issue! That's one thing I haven't thought of in this context, but it's definitely relevant and perhaps the best argument against this challenge. I just don't like the thought of pouring ice water over myself and can donate money to whatever charity anyway.


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