I’ve been challenged for the ice bucket challenge. In my judgement, at this point, the campaign has run its course, and for me to post a video would be mostly about drawing attention to myself versus those with ALS and other diseases.
There has been some debate about the effectiveness of this campaign. What is undeniable is that it has drawn our attention to those impacted by this terrible disease, and raised much more money for research to find an end to it. Anyone with a casual knowledge of my Facebook feed knows I am not above using events and physical acts to raise money for research to end diseases. I salute those who have taken part, and think they should feel good about what they’ve done.
Nevertheless, it’s always a bit disappointing that many of us wait for campaigns like this, or for disasters to strike, or for a political or cultural spat, to give to those who are suffering. My heart has been very heavy lately -- with some deaths in the family, with injustice and unrest in the city I called home for 15 years, with violence and warfare breaking out throughout the world. I think we are called to always keep those who are suffering in mind, and to do what we can to help them. I know that I often fall short of this goal, and suspect I am not alone.
So, in honor of this, I am making three small donations, which may not be large but I hope to repeat several times:
- To the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, in honor of my recently deceased Great Aunt Eileen Cooney
- To the MS Society, in honor of the consistent and inspiring efforts of Rick Keating on behalf of his wife Michelle.
- To the ALS Association (with a request that it be used for non-embryonic research) in honor of Carle Lacouture, father of my childhood friend Michael.
And my challenge, to myself and the rest of you, is to find a way in our daily routines to keep those who are suffering in our minds, and to use whatever influence we have to remind each other of those we may prefer to forget about, and to do what we can to help them.