By now you probably have heard of, or even taken, the Ice Bucket Challenge. This is where people have been doused by ice water in support of helping those with ALS. It is a brilliant idea that mixes the power of social media, the vanity of participants, the impact of celebrity and the warmth of summer, all to support the charitable work of the ALS Association.
As a longtime CEO of CLASS (Community Living and Support Services), a nonprofit organization serving men, women and children with all types of disabilities in our area since 1951, I must admit I am jealous.
I wish I would have thought of this idea in support of my own organization, so we too could have raised millions of dollars.
Still, I am happy for the ALS Association and for raising attention to this challenging disability. As CLASS supports some individuals with ALS we know how devastating it can be to everyone involved.
I am also happy that people from all walks of life have decided to participate by making donations. We nonprofit organizations can only exist based on the charity of people and support of governmental tax dollars — and without nonprofits doing the work needed, we would be a woeful society.
I hope that when the craze dies down, all the folks who have taken the Ice Bucket Challenge will continue to make charitable donations to or advocate for the causes that they are close to, be it disability, homelessness, hunger, aging, children’s issues, the arts, animal causes and the like. A supportive society in the end becomes a more decent society. In this scenario, we all benefit.