This summer has been full of major trends and news breaking events! I mean Mountain Dew Baja Blast was released in stores, Burger King brought back chicken fries (praise sweet baby Jesus) and we even saw the death of comedy icon Robin Williams. One of the biggest things to sweep social media this summer were the videos of people dumping buckets of ice water over their heads. That’s right friends, I’m talking the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.
For those of you who don’t know, before it was the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge it was just an Ice Bucket Challenge. A golfer named Chris Kennedy was nominated by a friend to participate in this challenge in the middle of July, and at the time participants chose which charity they wanted to donate to after completing the challenge. Kennedy decided to make his donation toward ALS research because he knew someone suffering from the disease. He went on to nominate the wife of his friend suffering from ALS to take on the challenge next, which seems to have formed the link between ALS and ice buckets. For more information on the origin of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge check out this article!
As the challenge has gained popularity I’ve seen more and more people posting in opposition of the challenge. People claim that it is a waste of water and time with claims such as, “I don’t understand how dumping a bucket of ice water over your head is supposed to cure a disease.” Obviously friends, it certainly isn’t going to cure ALS. That isn’t, nor was it ever the point of the challenge. It’s all about bringing awareness to this often overlooked disease! I’m curious as to how many people knew what ALS was when they watched a challenge video, or even when they were challenged themselves? I know I didn’t. That’s enough to get people to head over to google and simply search, “What is ALS,” which would quickly point them to a name they might be a little more familiar with, Lou Gehrig’s Disease. For those of you who don’t know, Lou Gehrig’s Disease is a neurodegenerative disease that affects the spinal cord and brain tissue causing physical paralysis. For more information on ALS visit their website here !
Another thing that people may not know about the challenge are the actual rules of it. I use the term rules lightly because ultimately, the challenge is supposed to be a fun way to raise awareness and support for ALS. If you are nominated for the ALS Ice bucket challenge you are supposed to:
1. Accept or deny the challenge.
2. If you accept the challenge you are supposed to make a $10 donation to ALS research and record a video of your challenge and post it on a social media venue nominating (usually) three others to take the challenge and repeat what you did!
3. If you decline the challenge you are supposed to make a $100 donation to ALS research.
I was nominated for the challenge the other day actually. My ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is posted on my Facebook page and I proudly made a $10 donation in addition to my challenge!
In all honesty, if the person who nominated me for the challenge hadn’t told me about the $10 donation I wouldn’t have even known about it. If everyone who spent time and energy complaining about the challenge spread awareness of that fact imagine how much more good the challenge would be doing! Not to say that it actually needs it though, because the last time I checked the challenged raised over $15 million dollars for ALS research! I have no complaints about the challenge though! I think it’s a way to spread awareness about this disease that people haven’t thought about for a long time, and through donations actually help make a difference. Think about it this way; even if people don’t make the donation when they do the challenge they (more often than not) will say they are doing the, “ALS Ice Bucket Challenge,” which gets people talking about the disease. That can cause a domino effect of that person looking up what ALS is and telling others about the disease and the challenge, which gets people talking and in turn gets people to take action.
So, what is the big deal? People have an excuse to have fun by dumping a bucket of ice water over their head, and some good comes out of it too either directly through donations, or indirectly through word-of-mouth! Even people complaining about the challenge is helping spread awareness for ALS! It’s a total win-win situation for everyone and it has proven to be a huge success! The only thing I can suggest is when you post your super awesome video of your bone-chilling experience include the link for ALSA.org in your status and encourage people to stop by the website and check out what is really behind the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge! I for one, can’t wait to see what viral philanthropic challenge is next! To make a donation towards ALS research visit this link!
Talk to you soon!