I have recently, in fact just today, felt very compelled to join in on this #IceBucketChallenge to support #ALS. How lucky am I that my gorgeous cousin Hanna Mills decided to call me out on this very day. I ACCEPT! Let's start by seeing my acceptance. Here goes nothin':
A while back I read a story about a fellow photographer, Anthony Carbajal, who got the devastating news that he had ALS, or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (click here to educate yourself). The disease runs in his family and his grandmother died from it and he is currently taking care of his mother who is slowly deteriorating from it. What struck me so much about this real life story was that the disease was taking away the use of his hands and he could no longer be a photographer. I paused. What would I do if my passion and career was suddenly taken from me? Overwhelming sympathy came over me. I donated to his fundraiser that would help him return all the deposits he had collected from brides and prayed for his well being. You too can donate and/or read more details by clicking here.
Here's where my reality check came in. As life went on, I had forgotten about Anthony and his struggle. Life has it's funny way of doing that, doesn't it? Then, all these ALS #IceBucketChallenge videos started to pop up on my news feed and I rolled my eyes at many of them, got confused because some people were donating to a different foundation so I wasn't sure which challenge was the original challenge, and even said to myself that I would just ignore it if I happened to get challenged. Then a little birdie reminded me of that fellow photographer, and I felt such disgust with myself. He had posted a video about his struggles once again and I was reminded that this "challenge" means something, it is not just a stupid Facebook plow to get people to post videos of pouring water over their head. This is about awareness and giving back.
My take from this is very simple. Donate. Donate your time, donate your money, just donate. I decided to donate $20 to the ALS Association from KMS Photography in honor of Anthony Carbajal as well as another $20 from me personally in honor of everyone who is affected by this disease. Even if you think that your $10 is not going to make a difference, just donate it if you can, I promise you it will make a difference. As of August 16th, the #IceBucketChallenge raised over 10 million dollars. The $10 really does add up. If ALS is not the foundation of your choice, that is fine. Donate to any foundation you feel strongly about. If you cannot donate any money, that is fine. Donate your time to a local homeless shelter or an animal shelter. If you have no time or money to donate, that is fine. Put the people of the world affected by the many problems ad struggles that exist around the world in your prayers. Do the best you can with what you have and most importantly be kind to one another (thank you Ellen for that beautiful reminder every day). Everyone struggles from something, so give back, even if it is just a smile!
I would now like to take the time to challenge all my clients, past, present and future, to post their videos of the #IceBucketChallenge on my Facebook Page and send me proof of donation via email and I will offer a $50 credit on any sessions booked before the end of the year.
Ready! Set! Go!
Anthony Carbajal's Story & Donation Page:
ALS Information & News: