So, the ALS challenge. I'll cut right to the chase: dumping a bucket of ice water on yourself or donating $100 to ALS research is all well and good, but what about all the other causes out there? Personally, I take the money I earn from working pretty seriously. I've done some budget cuts in my life as of late. I'm not rich, and I'm still trying to save enough to provide for myself and support causes that I believe in. Withdrawing my monthly donations to save some money has crossed my mind. But I know that there are people that need my dollars more than I do.
I am picky about the causes that I support because I want to feel passionate about where my money is going. I want to believe in what I am supporting. That's not to say no one should support ALS-- I'm really happy they have increased their donations and are getting recognized. That's awesome! But for me, my heart is elsewhere. It's with the little girl I support in Singapore, making sure she has an education and a future. It's with my friend Christina who is living and working with kids in China. It's with giving people clean drinking water, something we take so lightly in the States. It's with doing a lot for people who can't do much for themselves.
All this to say that ALS is a wonderful cause to give to if that's where your heart is. My heart just happens to be passionate about other things at the moment. After all, we can't all give to every single cause that's happening in the world. It's just impossible. But I can do my best to give where I strongly believe I should. After I taught English in China in 2006, I developed a huge heart for international causes. That's just what I want to give my money to; I can't help it. We all have to make a choice about where we want to show our support. So, I politely decline the ice bucket challenge, but applaud those who take part. We all want to make a difference-- just in different ways.