The ALS challenge is blowing up my FaceBook news feed and the small parts of morning talk shows that I catch. It is driving me crazy. Don't get me wrong, I think it is wonderful that ALS has such a successful marketing campaign, although is it raising 'awareness' on the personal side? I don't think my nieces/nephews and many others out there who have done the challenge understand what it represents, to them they get ice cold water poured on them and a few seconds of fame on FaceBook by their friends. But to those that get it...I think it is wonderful. So simple, yet effective.
I was nominated to do the ice bucket challenge by my nephew, probably because I called out that I didn't think his water looked that cold. I refused. Instead, I went on to Gilda's Club and donated $100 (that I really don't have right now) in memory of ManFriend.
There are so many charities/associations out there for great causes and I'd rather donate to one that hits home to me. As those that read my blog regularly know, ManFriend died of cancer in January of this past year. I believe each time he had cancer was in a different spot, making me unsure of which cancer association to donate to. When I met him, he was active with Gilda's Club but had a difference of opinion over an event....I was surprised when I saw to donate to them in his obituary, but that is what he or his family wanted. Nonetheless, Gilda's club is a free support group for individuals with cancer and their families. They offer support, workshops and social events during a period of time that is so stressful and confusing. They have over 50 affiliates and 100 satellite offices.
I know ManFriend was very depressed after the first time and I think for a while Gilda's Club was a reason for him to get out of the house and to socialize with people in similar situations. Then I came along...and well, he stopped going to Gilda's Club and I hope I was enough to help cheer him up, but he was always kinda miserable. I wish I knew more about Gilda's Club when we were friends perhaps I would have pushed him to keep going. Awareness in not only the illness but of the resources available are so important.
I hope that you too will donate to a charity of your choosing, and not one that is forced on you.