5 Things You Can Do to Support The ALS Foundation (Besides Dumping Water On Your Head)

This post is not a rant. In no way will I point out how the “ice bucket challenge” has turned into Frankenstein’s monster, how it has been squeezed through the social media grapevine, how it has become diluted into an “either/or” competition, how so many people believe that if you pour water on your head, you will not have to donate to the ALS foundation at all, how so many people still do not know what ALS even is, and how narcissistic this has all become.

I won’t do that. What I will do is point out that I have been nominated for the challenge, and that I will not be pouring water on my head. Instead, I will be donating to the ALS foundation tonight, but not $100. (I am happy to take a picture of that).

Why? Because I don’t want to be bullied into charity. I don’t want to be guilted into donating. I don’t need to be. I’m happy to donate what I can and when I can. (I’m sorry if that it isn’t “enough,” but it’s what I can do.) And that’s the whole point. People participate in these social media campaigns because they don’t know what else to do. We’re humans. We’re mostly good people. We want to help; we don’t want to see people suffer. So, when we see that other people are making “a difference” by not doing much, we think, well. this is the least I can do. And it is. It is literally the least you could do. So, try a few of these to make a real difference and save yourself the unpleasant wet underwear feeling. This list goes from the least effort to the most effort. Because if everyone did a little bit, we’d have a whole lot.

5. Share a Link.

You probably thought that the last thing I tell you to do was post something on social media. But awareness is at the heart of this “challenge.” Try including a link to the ALS foundation with your monotonous video of you screaming from the onset of hypothermia. (Can you tell I’m bitter?) FYI: Here’s a link for anyone (or their loved ones) recently diagnosed with ALS. 

4. Donate.

I bet you are surprised to see this early on in the list, too. It’s so easy to donate. Actually, it’s easier than getting the ice for your bucket. I’ll make it even easier for you. There ya go. There’s the link.

3. Shop.

Seriously. You can shop your way to the cure. All you have to do is use AmazonSmile to shop for goods that you would usually buy (if they qualify). Amazon will donate .5% of your purchase to the ALS association. How easy is that?

2. Hold a Fundraiser

We all have different talents. Use yours to hold a fundraiser. Make baked goods, sell lemonade, design t-shirts, write poetry, run a 5k, anything! Donate the profits to the ALS foundation. Think about it: someone gets a cookie, and you get to donate to a great cause. It’s a win-win. The “ice bucket challenge” is a lose-lose. (You are wet, and when you don’t donate, we’re not any closer to living in an ALS-free world.)

1. Volunteer

Yes, you can even volunteer for your local ALS chapter (or even make your own) to help the foundation fundraise and generally get the word out. Of course, this might be the most effort you can put into the cause, but I promise it will be the most rewarding.

I’ve made this blog post nice and short so that you can get out there and do any one of these things. Just pass it along, and don’t “freeze” out the ALS foundation.

And just in case you were wondering…

I donated. #picsoritdidnthappen

Screen shot 2014-08-18 at 9.30.56 PM

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