Damon’s friend and fellow actor Ben Affleck, along with late night host Jimmy Kimmel, both nominated the 43-year-old Damon to take the challenge. Not only did the Bourne Identity star accept, but as the co-founder of water.org – a nonprofit group that addresses water supply and sanitation needs in developing countries – he certainly didn’t want to waste clean water over his head. Instead, he went toilet plunging, giving himself a reverse swirly of sorts.
Writes the Huffington Post:
The ice bucket challenge, which calls on participants to donate toward research of ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease) and dump a bucket of ice water over their heads within 24 hours of being challenged, presented a dilemma for the Water.org co-founder. The nonprofit is dedicated to providing clean drinking water and sanitation solutions to those in underserved regions of the world, so naturally, wasting even just one bucket seemed unnecessary.
“It posed kind of problem for me, not only because there's a drought here in California,” Damon explained, “but because I co-founded Water.org, and we envision the day when everybody has access to a clean drink of water. And there are about 800 million people in the world who don't, and so dumping a clean bucket of water on my head seemed a little crazy.”
Damon pointed out that toilet water in westernized nations is still cleaner than drinking water in developing countries. Of course, the water that fills our toilets comes from the same pipes that bring water to all the home’s spigots; it’s the idea that the water is in the toilet that makes it gross.
But Damon did it anyway, then promptly challenged three big names to do the same – George Clooney, Bono and NFL quarterback Tom Brady.
As of the writing of this article, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge had netted nearly $90 million. That’s “compared to $2.6 million during the same time period last year (July 29 to August 26). These donations have come from existing donors and 1.9 million new donors to The Association, which is incredibly grateful for this tremendous outpouring of support,” writes ALSA.org.