By now, I’m sure your Facebook feed has been overrun with videos of friends and people-you forgot-were-friends participating in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. According to their own estimates, as of September 11, 2014, the ALS Association’s raised over $112 million dollars, which is more than four times their annual budget. That’s pretty awesome and it’s going to do a lot of good.
Much like a straight-to-DVD film with a title practically indistinguishable from a summer blockbuster, though, (I’m looking at you Transmorphers), the ALSA’s success has not escaped imitation. It’s unlikely you’ll see President Bush or Lady Gaga participating in any of the following, but they’re worth suggesting. Here are the other charity challenges that didn’t quite catch on.
Special thanks to those who looked this over and to Amanda G. who comforted me when both McSweeney’s and College Humor rejected this article.
The Sierra Club “Save Our Pollinators” challenge. Nominees have to poke a hive and donate $5 for every bee sting. Donate double if you wimp out and use an EpiPen.
The Red Cross “Give Until You Drop” Challenge. Nominees have to donate 5 pints of blood and see how many steps they can take before toppling over.
The Oregon History Society’s “Oregon Trail” challenge. One third of nominees have to die from dysentery. No one is allowed to live past age 45.
The Planned Parenthood “Safe Sex” challenge. Please, no videos.
The Wal-Mart Local Giving “Big Family” challenge. Nominees have to report all suspicious union activity to their supervisor. Also, you have to wear a silly vest. All employees are nominated.
The Green Peace “Save the Whales” challenge. Nominees have to secretly board a Japanese whaling vessel and destroy it from the inside. Nominees are discouraged from violating international law.
The American Disability Association’s “Crawl a Mile in Their Shoes” challenge. Nominees have to crawl one mile and nobody is allowed to be offended because it’s for a good cause so there.
The Goodwill “$20 in Your Pocket” challenge. Middle-class twenty-somethings have to put that $20 in the donation jar … and then leave. No, that jacket doesn’t look good on you. Don’t sing. Just walk away, man.
The Federal Government’s “Civic Engagement” challenge. Nominees have to show up on Election Day to vote. Please! The United States is globally ranked 59th in voter turnout! We shouldn’t have to challenge you to do this!
The Humility Foundation’s “Impossible” challenge. Nominees have to donate an appropriate amount of money to a charity of their choice and not brag about it on social media. They also have to share their accomplishing this challenge without violating its central precept. Your move.