As everyone was pouring buckets of ice over their heads the past two weeks for #icebucketchallenge for ALS, I started to get anxious. No one “nominated” me to do it. I just checked all of my social media, still, no nomination. I decided to post a blog about my anxiety when a friend reached out to me today with anxiety because she was finally nominated! We had been writing back and forth this week about how the challenge is a waste of water, is narcissistic, and other wet blanket gripes. I’ll preface this stream-of-consciousness list with the fact that I love anything that calls attention to a cause and drives people to really participate, donate, and learn.
1. It was nice to see so many of my friends moving and talking! I’m so used to scrolling through still images of their smiling faces on Facebook and Instagram. Maybe this means we should all do more selfie-Vines?
2. I thought it was a wimpy version of the Polar Bear Plunge. I have many friends and family members who are crazy people and jump into cold bodies of water in the winter, like Lake Superior, in the name of fundraising for organizations like the American Cancer Society and Special Olympics.
3. The lax enforcement of the challenge rules made me worry that people were just posting videos of dumping cold water over their (often) white-t-shirt-clad selves for Likes, RTs, doubletaps, and Faves.
4. THERE’S A DROUGHT IN CALIFORNIA! May I suggest a dirt bath like these guys? Or a (cold) 5-gallon bucket sponge bath like my friend who volunteered in Haiti after the earthquake and realized “real” showers were a luxury? Or, capture the dumped water and use it to water your (duh) native plants?
5. I developed two game plans in the case of nomination: completely ignore it or do it in the name of lung cancer research.
So, I’m nominating myself because I want to challenge all of you.
I will make a donation to the American Lung Association.
I will register for a lung cancer awareness event in my area within the next year.
I’ll take a quick cold shower since I currently live in Southern California where it’s hot and drought-y.
Let’s keep the good vibes going – figure out your cause(s), donate, and/or participate. And repeat.
Some more ideas:
– Donate blood. I’m Type O- which is in demand because it’s the universal donor. Most areas of the United States are low on blood. It’s fun, the nurses are usually pretty cool, and you can eat all the Oreos, Nutter Butters, and other fun treats that you want!
– Act local. Volunteer with a group in your community that’s doing good things: cleaning up public spaces, helping homebound people with meals and cleaning, tutoring children, etc. There’s so many good organizations looking for volunteers.
– Think of charities, no matter the season. Volunteering at a soup kitchen is super popular around the holidays, offer your help in the summer instead!
– Train your cute puppy to be a therapy dog. You’ll get a well-behaved dog out of the process at the very least!
– Donate to the local food shelf. Clean your closet regularly and donate clothing that you no longer want.
– Practice RAKE: Random Acts of Kindness Everywhere. Check the hashtag on Instagram for inspiration.