So… The JCI Scotland National President Lesley Fowler nominated me for the Ice Bucket Challenge, to help raise awareness and funds for the disease known as ALS. Although I’ve accepted her challenge – I now question her judgement and authority…
I first heard about ALS back in February this year, when I saw this video. It’s a really, really heart-warming story on how technology can help those with ALS.
Further to that story, Microsoft recently ran a one-week “hackathon”, where developers could spend time creating innovative solutions that demonstrate the power of software. The Ability Eye Gaze project won this year’s //oneweek Hackathon – the project was focussed towards creating innovative new ways to help people suffering from ALS. Read more about it here (and also see current Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s Ice Bucket Challenge!).
The best Ice Bucket Challenge I’ve seen, though, has to go to Bill Gates – who takes it to a whole geeky new level!
I’d really encourage you to visit the ALS Association website to find out more, and also to donate if you can. (UK folk – I’ve seen quite a few friends donate to the UK equivalent of the ALS Association, so you might want to visit the Motor Neurone Disease Association website and contribute there. ALS and MND are different descriptions of the same disease…)
In addition, I’ve followed Lesley’s lead (OK, so her judgement isn’t that questionable) and have also made a donation to Nothing But Nets. This is a campaign run by the United Nations Foundation to help combat the spread of malaria. JCI has partnered with the UN to help raise awareness and funding for this initiative, and I’d urge you to find out more at the Nothing But Nets campaign here and, again, to make a donation if you can.
Finally, to help spread the icy-cold fun around the globe, I’d like to nominate three international friends for the Ice Bucket Challenge… Roger Pichette from Canada should be able to take this in his stride – being a hardy Canadian, he should be used to the freezing-cold climate and thus a small bucket of icy water shouldn’t faze him! My next nomination is to Annalisa Schembri from Malta – Annalisa, I’m very jealous of the beautiful weather and brilliant sunshine that you enjoy in Malta, so please accept this petty gift of refreshing icy-coldness from me! And my final nomination goes to the person who kept me safe, and looked out for me, all through my time at JCI Academy – Naoki Ogura of Japan – sorry for being mean, but it will be completely hilarious to see you drenched in ice water!