What the Ice Bucket Challenge is Actually Doing for ALS
By Eric Anderson Published: August 16 2014
The social media craze has raised millions for ALS research.
The latest social media trend is the Ice Bucket Challenge. Participants post a video on Facebook pouring a bucket of ice cold water on themselves and then challenge three other friends to do the same - or donate $100 to research for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
Of course, people are encouraged to both donate and participate in the challenge.
While the challenge may seem juvenile to some, it has in fact helped raise awareness for the disease, not to mention over $5.5 million in donations in a little over two weeks, according to time.com.
But how much good is the Ice Bucket Challenge actually doing for the ALS Association? If you compare that $5.5 million to a mere $32,000 raised during the same period in 2013, it would seem - at least on the surface - that the viral trend is having a phenomenal effect for the charity.
However, there are two schools of thought here.
First, some are concerned that the challenge is not really raising enough awareness of the disease. After all, how many people dumping ice on their heads actually know what ALS stands for? (Or even how to pronounce “amyotrophic”). The number of people that know ALS is also called Lou Gehrig’s Disease are probably in the minority as well.
Then there is also the idea that the challenge is just an excuse to not donate money. After all, the challenge is to dump a bucket on your head - OR donate.
We’re being a little cynical here aren’t we? Maybe I’m just one more person blindly following along, but I’m seeing $5.5 million that would certainly not be going towards charity if it wasn’t for the Ice Bucket Challenge.
Hate on it all you want, but I’m still posting an ice bucket video. And yes, I’ll be donating money as well. I suggest you all do the same.