Yesterday I did the Ice Bucket Challenge, something you’ll all be familiar with, even if you haven’t had the pleasure of drenching yourself just yet!
I’d been watching all my old friends nominate each other on Facebook while I tactfully remained quiet and perhaps foolishly thought I’d got away with it.
Then it all went pear-shaped, when my best friend (and housemate) got nominated.
You don’t need to be a scientist to figure out who came first on her hit-list!
So yes, in 31 degrees, I had two buckets of cold water thrown over my head, reminding myself to donate as soon as I’d got to the UK.
You’ll probably know a lot of people have complained about the water wastage, or the fact that they don’t see how it raises awareness etc etc, but what I worry about is the fact that people only give money to charity because it’s trendy to do so. If it hadn’t gone viral, charities probably wouldn’t have received anywhere near as many donations over the summer months, perhaps even all year.
I think people forget that charities are working 24/7 for their causes, not just for that one special event on TV that happens every year and has loads of celebrities in it and it’s really good fun to watch.
I volunteered at Cancer Research UK for 9 months in my first year of University, because I couldn’t find a job and I was bored of sitting looking at the same 4 walls surrounding me.
In doing that I gained so much experience on the shop floor. I became more confident striking up conversations with strangers (something I think everyone struggles with from time to time), worked out how to use a till for the first time, and met some really lovely people along the way.
I remember one morning we’d managed to make over £1,000, which to some it might not seem like a lot, but in this business every penny counts. I finished my shift that day feeling so proud of myself, thinking that the money I had helped put into the till might help someone with cancer.
My only regret was having to stop due to University commitments, hopefully some-day I could go back and help out again.
I don’t mean to shun everyone’s willingness to take-part in the challenge, it all helps for some really worthwhile causes. What I mean is that there is so much more that can be done. Donate time to your local charity shop and become a volunteer, organise a fundraiser for yourself, anything!
Sadly, the problem isn’t solved the second you upload that video onto Facebook. Charity is constantly in need of help from someone, trendy or not.
Will you be the person to go the extra mile?