In case you've been on a space visit to another planet, you have heard about the Ice Bucket challenge to raise money for ALS research. I donated enough dough last week to a film maker who promised to do the challenge if she got an Assoc. Producer to help fund her film. So I became that donor. That wasn't really the reason I donated; I donated because I believe in her project and want to see it completed and seen by audiences.
But back to ice bucket challenge: I'm now seeing articles that state that only 27% of money raised by the ALS Association actually go into ALS research. A lot of the other money goes into lobbying efforts, to get the policy makers on board and hopefully get legislation that would lead to more funding for research, presumably.
I think everyone who has participated in the challenge is doing it for a good reason -- they want to help, and they are helping, somewhat. But the thing as gone so bloody viral and people have no time or inclination to research (ha) the organization the money is funding. Myself included. I have mixed feelings about what seems to be a paltry percentage going to actual research. I don't know how other organizations do it, like March of Dimes, American Diabetes Assoc., etc. I looked up the MS Society and see that they claim 83% of donations go to "Research/Programs/Education." Within that 83%, what percentage goes to research? And what are the programs and education components? I'd like to see more transparency.
My blogger friend Elizabeth had a post recently talking about the fight for public money for all the various diseases out there. Her friend Yvonne makes a compelling argument for public funding of research dollars as opposed to relying on individual donations when making research decisions. But this is America, and that would be socialized medicine, don't you know? The stuff of commie pinko nations with poor, devastated national health care systems with a high percentage of bad outcomes? (If you believe this, watch "Sicko.")
The problem of funding health care and research is a complex one. I feel the same way about funding education in this country. Why should it be left up to how much funding in property tax a school district can expect? Why isn't there a national education policy that ensures equal access to education for all citizens K-12 and college as well? People coming up through the school system are the future of this country, yet we invest paltry dollars into providing them with a world class education.
I don't know where I'm going with all of this, but I do know that I have made an investment in Laine's documentary that I can feel proud of. Whether it gets made or not, I'm helping her crew with their filming costs and it's a risk I'm happy to take in hopes that the film is produced. If you'd like to see information about her documentary, and how you can help, go to this link. There are many levels to donate, and she would be happy with whatever you can do. So would I.
I call on all my creative friends to seriously consider a donation. WE know how hard it is to get our work made and out there in the world. Help a fellow artist in her quest -- I think it will be an inspiring and uplifting documentary film and I can't wait!