Ice Water In My Veins, Not On My Head
Yesterday I finally got my first invitations to the ice bucket challenge. Here’s my response: not happening. I’m not even sorry.
There’s one inexorable reason I’m not going to partake, and it’s quite simple. I don’t want to. My parents and teachers spent a great deal of time convincing me to resist peer pressure, and I don’t want to let them down. That said, charity is good, so I have an idea: I’m going to give money without dumping a bucket of ice water on myself.
It’s crazy talk, I know, but I think I have some precedent. For example, pretty much every charitable gift given prior to two months ago…I feel like it’s a good legacy to follow. Though I’m incredibly glad that a charity for some of the most helpless people in our society was able to find a way to spike their contributions, I’m going to take the conventional route.
I was a fortunate kid in a lot of ways. I didn’t lack much…anything, really. I didn’t get my Sega Genesis on release day, and I had to cut the grass to get money to go see Jurassic Park – but even when my dad spent half a decade among the un- and underemployed, we were comfortable. I grew up in good neighborhoods, went to good schools, and even though they didn’t always love each other, my parents loved me and gave me a stable place to grow.
Not every child has those advantages. But even for those who don’t have the financial stability my family had, loving and stable parents can make a world of difference. But in too many cases, even that small opportunity is taken from them. It breaks my heart to know that there are so many kids out there who already lack so much, who have their childhoods stolen. So I’ve decided to start supporting the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center.
DCAC is a joint operation involving the Dallas Police Child Abuse Unit, Child Protective Services, and The district attorney’s office. It started out in 1991 in a house in Old East Dallas, to create a place where abused children and their (non-offending) family members could feel comfortable while being interviewed, treated, and served by this joint team; in 2013 they served 2,800 local children. This month’s issue of D Magazine held a 5000 word article about the DCAC: When the Bough Breaks. Beware, it’s hard reading. I still haven’t finished it.
I typically don’t give to high profile groups, because I prefer to focus on those smaller charities where my gift will seem to have the most impact. But in this case, I’m changing my tack. This is a local group which faces one of the ugliest aspects of our society on a daily basis, and its impact on the lives of these children is monumental. I considered making a donation, but I did get challenged twice… In light of that, I’ve decided to fulfill the challenges in the following way:
- For the challenge from Rich, I’ll be joining the DCAC Alliance
- For the challenge from Chris, I’ll participate in their next volunteer event (as long as it doesn’t conflict with my DJCC responsibilities)
And, as it turns out, in the course of writing this, I decided to be a good sport. So, for your viewing pleasure: