My lovely sister Heidi called me out on the ice bucket challenge. She, of all people, should know that I've never been one to do what I'm told.
Something about the ice bucket challenge irks me. There is a gimmickry about it that takes away from the charity. The important thing seems to have become watching people pour ice water on their heads. The donations, the charity, the giving, has become a side effect (with indisputable financial results) of a viral sensation.
So I decline the challenge to dump ice water on my head but I accept the challenge to donate. Being reminded to give is never a bad thing.
I propose a new challenge. The "Give and Tell Challenge". You donate to a cause, or causes, that have meaning to you and you say why. You then challenge 3 other people to do the same thing. It's not as fun as dumping frigid water on your head so it will probably fail.
I have donated $100 to the PEI chapter of the ALS society of Canada. ALS is a horrible disease that needs our money. I was also asked to do so by my sister and she's a doctor.
I have donated $100 to the Lions Foundation of Canada Guide Dogs program. I have made my donation specific to autism guide dog training. My nephew is severely autistic. He is a beautiful growing boy that has the most loving and amazing parents. As he grows up he is going to need more help in his daily life. I strongly believe in what dogs can emotionally do for us and a well trained autism support dog would not only provide practical everyday help for my nephew but could provide him with a relationship that may change his life.
I have donated $100 to Give Directly. This is a fairly radical new way to think about giving. I suggest you look into it. It is fascinating. They literally just give money to poor people. It turns out that under the right circumstances that can make a world of difference. For more information listen to Planet Money's episode about it.