The ALS ice bucket challenge has gone viral. Celebrities and people all over Facebook with buckets of ice water standing either outside or in a bathtub dump gallons of water over their heads to avoid paying $100 to ALS research. Wait... what? Yeah, that made no sense to me either at first.
Unfortunately Ice Bucket Challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowned hours after he finished raising over $100,000 for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) research. What exactly is ALS? According to alsa.org, "Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as "Lou Gehrig's Disease," is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death."
I have a feeling many people following this Facebook trend probably don't even know why they are doing it - except to be part of the "in" crowd. I give more props to people who are freezing in ice cubes and donating $100. That's what charity is all about.
However, the real solution is not raising money after someone is stricken with the disease. It is finding the preventative cure before it even happens. If you want the real story, see the corporate sponsorship list. As many Americans are now learning thanks to Facebook, Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are partly to blame for a medley of diseases as well as pollution (notice Exelon and Petroleum on the list, the same people helping to cause the problems are getting kick-backs and write-offs of your tax money for polluting the world and helping cause disease). Also a lot of banks on that list who are owned and run by the same corporate entities pumping GMOs into your food for profit (Monsanto, etc.).
The key to fighting ALS or any other disease is not jumping a bandwagon but fighting at a grassroots level - at the source. Reduce your carbon foot print, buy local and eat organic when you can. Where you put your money is where you put your health and the future of our world. Helping people already plagued by ALS with donations (and not wasting water - another precious resource Americans take for granted), is surely a noble cause. But that's only the beginning...