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Unless you have been hiding under a rock, you have surely heard about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. It has been taking over Facebook. Every celebrity who is anybody has being participating, trying to out-do the next one. I personally have enjoyed this phenomenon. It has brought a great deal of awareness to ALS and it has been a pretty genius fundraiser.

I recently participated in the challenge, after being nominated by my friend Jody. Secretly, I had been waiting to see who and when I would be nominated. So I was kind of excited about it.

The concept, if challenged, is that you donate $10 to ALS and then dump a bucket of ice water over your head. You then challenge other people to do it, generally, within 24 hours. If you choose to take the challenge, you continue the challenge. If you choose not to, you donate $100 to ALS. If done properly, ALS charities wins either way.

This has been going on for several weeks now. And the backlash has been happening. As with anything nowadays, it was bound to happen. The trollers on the internet have to be negative. Well, haters gotta hate. Some of the critics have been complaining about the water being wasted, especially here in California. And yes, there is a serious drought here. Water conservation is very, very important. I am not at all meaning to take this lightly. When I did my Ice Bucket Challenge, I was conscientious to do it on some very thirsty grass at my brother’s house. Their dogs also enjoyed the ice. So one small eco-system also benefitted. I have also noted that many of my friends that have completed the challenge have also been aware and noting the drought. Some using beer, or water from their shower etc. I applaud these people.

The bottom line if that this is something thought up to bring awareness to a horrible debilitating disease. A disease that has no cure, no relief. There isn’t as much federal funding that goes to ALS research because of the nature of the disease. I am not saying that one malady is more important than another. But now people are talking about ALS. People have watched videos about others dealing with the disease. And it is spreading. It has gone viral, as they say. And they have raised incredible amounts of money for the cause.

I think that I am just frustrated with the people and their negativity. So here is an easy solution. If you are concerned about water conservation, you can opt out of the challenge and donate money instead. Voice your concern about water and spread that around. It benefits two causes. My friend Jamisson did just this, and it is brilliant.

Another solution, donate to another charity that is closer to your heart. Charity is great no matter where it goes. Pour kibble over your head and donate to a local animal shelter. Why not? Again, your dogs benefit from the spilled kibble and the ones that get the donation benefit too.

And finally, if you really are not on board, then just don’t watch. Scroll past them in your feed. It is not your thing. It is that simple. There is just no reason to negatively comment on people who are trying to do something good. (While I am on my soapbox- this also applies to books, movies, TV, Starbucks, whatever. If you don’t like Twilight, then don’t read or watch Twilight. If you don’t like Starbucks, then make the choice to go to a local or other coffee shop. If you don’t like zombies then don’t watch Walking Dead. It is that simple. But leave the others that DO like those things alone. There are plenty of people out there that like other things. It makes the world an interesting place. If you have to say something negative to another person about what they like or create, maybe you shouldn’t be talking. Thank you , that is all. Stepping down from soapbox)

So I personally defend the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. I am not ashamed of having done it. I am glad that I did. It was fun and I donated too. I hope that some of you out there have had fun participating. And more importantly I hope that you have donated. It feels good to do good for others.

Visit http://www.ALSA.org for more information.

TA-DA!

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