Quite the humanitarian at heart, actor and producer Matt Damon did something rather unconventional with the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. After being called out by his buddies Jimmy Kimmel and Ben Affleck, he admits that he was rather skeptical about taking it on. “It posed kind of problem for me, not only because there’s a drought here in California,” Damon says in his video. “But because I co-founded Water.org, and we envision the day when everybody has access to a clean drink of water — and there are about 800 million people in the world who don’t — and so dumping a clean bucket of water on my head seemed a little crazy.”
And so, instead, he decides to use toilet water for the challenge. As he points out, 2.4 billion people in the world don’t have adequate sanitation. “I thought a good thing to do to kind of tie those things together would be to take some toilet water,” he says, as he kneels down to gather more for his ice bucket. “This is really toilet water. I’ve been collecting it from various toilets in the house.”
As of Monday (Aug. 25), an impressive $79.7 million had been raised, from over 1.7 million donors. By now, that total has surely jumped even higher. During the same point in 2013, the organization had only raised $2.5 million, according to Time. This Ice Bucket Challenge might be silly to some, but for others, it’s bringing awareness to a truly devastating illness.
“For those of you, like my wife, who think this is really disgusting, keep in mind that the water in our toilets in the west is actually cleaner than the water most people in the developing world have access to,” Damon continues. “As disgusting as this may seem, hopefully it will highlight the fact that this is a big problem.” He then calls out George Clooney, Bono and Tom Brady (“the greatest quarterback of all time”).
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Check out the best of all the celeb Ice Bucket Challenge videos: