Charity: 1. Generous actions or donations to aid the poor, ill, or helpless; 2. something given to a person in need; 3. benevolent feeling, especially towards those in need; 4. a charitable act or work.
The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has gone viral. If you don’t believe me, just log onto Facebook and look at the feed over the last month. I was a little confused about the whole thing at first. I thought “Why are these people pouring ice water over their heads?” It appeared at first glance that this was a way to not donate money.
Once I figured out how it work, I was a little insulted. But I let it go, after all, it was all done in good fun. It isn’t any worse or any better than the events done in the name of Komen Race for a Cure, Relay for Life, National Heart Health Awareness, Easter Seals, and Unicef.
Unicef started sending children door to door on Halloween to collect money. We haven’t done that in years. But occasionally someone will participate in some sort of race, walk, swim, bike ride, bowl-a-thon, that raises money for their charity of choice and also to raise awareness. No one comes to your door, no one calls you. They just post a link on a social media site or send an email. You either donate or not. No one knows, no one “calls you out”.
This is what bothered me about this ice bucket challenge. I mean, what right does someone have to publicly browbeat me into giving to a charity. Luckily, I learned a while back to think for myself and make my own choices. There isn’t anything wrong with donating using the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge template. I just choose not to participate.
Everyone thinks their charity is important and it is. But we all have to make choices. I choose to try to keep my giving local. It doesn’t matter if you know how or when I do anything charitable. It only matters that I do.
I have an old chum, friend, associate, antagonist, foe (you know a former friend) who has apparently taken to social media to educate (brow beat) her connections into giving to her charity of choice – the homeless. Her rants on other subjects and her attack on me personally (because of a difference of opinion) is one reason I am not associated with her any more. But we have friends in common who share the crazier parts of her rants and now its the homeless. It’s as if she just discovered the homeless and thinks they have been ignored because she has not been involved.
There is a presumption on her part and on the part of many others that because a person is wealthy it is the wealthy person’s responsibility to take an interest in her charity of choice. She has no idea what percentage of someone’s income goes towards charity. She has no idea what others have already done for her charity. Her assumption is that her charity is so very much more important than anything you decide to give to.
So I will just mind my own business, give to the organizations that I think can best use my money. The main thing I think we need to remember when it comes to giving is to give. Whether it be to an organization or to an individual.