Enough with the ice buckets


Screenshot Will Nacouzi/The Skyline View

Screenshot of the Muscular Dystrophy Association website.

Regardless of the good intentions behind it, the ALS Ice Bucket challenge is an idiotic waste of time.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, better know as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is one of the most publicized and hot topics of discussion as of late. Everyone, from celebrities to your garden variety high school student, is taking part in the challenge to raise money for further research to cure the disease.

The social phenomenon kicked into high gear this last June as more and more celebrities and media personalities have taken part in the act of dumping ice water on themselves, challenging others to take part and donate in the hopes of raising awareness and money for ALS research. But, contrary to popular opinions, the challenge and the resulting proceeds may not be as needed as we’ve all been led to believe.

According to the alsa.org, where donations towards curing the disease can be made, in the year 2012 the non-profit organization made over $55 million when all was said and done. The shock comes when you find out that less than 8 percent of that money went towards research, while over 10 percent was used to pay the salaries of the men and women in key positions withing the company. A staggering 18 percent, double the amount of money allocated towards further research for a cure, was used for fundraising in order to get more money in future donations.

Apparently over $100 million has been raised as of the first of this month, with the president of the ALSA announcing that the money would be used to fund “cutting edge research” as well as care for future patients. As of now, 32 percent of the budget is being used for educational purposes with 28 percent going towards further research. This leaves 19 percent for patient and community help, 14 percent for further fundraising and 7 percent for administration costs.

Let us not forget that California is still in the midst of a horrible drought, one of the worst the state has seen in years. A five gallon bucket, which tends to be the bucket of choice when used in this challenge, holds almost 19 liters of water. How many videos have we seen in the past few months showing people dumping buckets of ice water on themselves and others? Now multiply each bucket by 19 and you’ll get the general idea. Rather than playing along with this modern day chain letter, dragging people into this social media charity in the hopes of outdoing one another, we should just donate if we want to donate. An act of charity done in the hopes of public recognition doesn’t quite ring true when you take the time to stop and think about it.

So, when a friend or acquaintance of yours “challenges” you to waste some water in the hopes of getting out of a $100 donation, keep in mind all of the particulars that are going into the act. Where is the money really going, and how much water can we as Californians afford to waste right now?