A New Kind of Water Challenge
After the immensely successful ice bucket challenge, it seems that everyone and their mother (and sometimes even their children or their pets) have participated in the polar plunge for ALS. Due to all those efforts, Forbes reported that ALSA has raised more than $100 million within the span of one month, which just goes to show what incredible feats Americans can accomplish when they stand united. Seriously, it’s downright awesome. And kind of unbelievable. However, the majority of the donations affect the eradication ALS indirectly, as ALSA recently revealed that only 27% of all the donated cash goes toward research for finding a cure. The rest of the proceeds go toward education, administrators, and further fundraising. Which are also good things, just a bit less direct.
That’s why I’m proposing a totally new kind of water challenge. The kind where 100% of your time and money go directly toward the cause you’re trying to help.
Homelessness in America has increased dramatically since the fall of ’09. To date, there are 633,782 people living without homes on any given night. 22% of that population are children, 13% are veterans, and nearly 43% are physically disabled people who are legitimately unable to work. These statistics make sense when there is no city or county anywhere in the US where a worker making the minimum wage can afford a fair market rate one-bedroom apartment. Much less, a home that will house an entire family, as families comprise 40% of all homeless people in our country.
In the hot months that are unfolding as August transitions to September, water becomes essential to sustain life. And, in a turn of bitter irony, when autumn transforms into a long, harsh winter, warmth becomes a friend.
But many of the simple things we take for granted on a daily basis are often considered golden among the homeless population. One of those things being water. How easy it is to flip the lever of our faucet or tip our Brita filters, then gulp down as much water as we desire. Yet, dehydration is a serious, life-threatening issue for those living without homes. Another necessity in the homeless crowd is socks. Whereas we can clean and restock our feet warmers whenever we wish, they often have to discard their socks because they either disintegrate or there is no way to wash them.
So, I am encouraging you all to join me in this initiative. You don’t have to donate hundreds of dollars. Simply go to your local store to pick up some bottled water and a package of socks. Then put those things in your car and whenever you happen to see someone who is in greater need than you, pull over and hand them some of each. You can even take a cool video of yourself stocking up your car, if that strikes your fancy. (I’ll be making mine soon. Join me on Facebook to view it.) In your video, mention one fact about homelessness that you didn’t know before and why you are passionate to join this cause. Then encourage other people to hop on board. This way, we can learn more about the truth of homelessness, then go out into the world armed with the tools we need to make a difference in someone’s life.