For the last two weeks I have not been able to view my Facebook feed without seeing a new video of a friend dumping a bucket of ice water over their head in the name of ALS awareness. Everyone from Mark Zuckerberg to Justin Timberlake to Ethel Kennedy has done it and challenged others to do the same or make a donation the ALS Association within 24 hours.
These are the “rules” of the campaign, as described be the ALS Association:
“The challenge involves people getting doused with buckets of ice water on video, posting that video to social media, then nominating others to do the same, all in an effort to raise ALS awareness. Those who refuse to take the challenge are asked to make a donation to the ALS charity of their choice.”
The fact that people are encouraged to dump ice water on themselves to avoid donating to the charity has generated a decent amount of criticism, but a few things are for sure: Regardless of whether people agree with the campaign or not, they have not stopped talking about it. The search term “ALS ice bucket challenge” currently returns 1.3 million search results on Google, and dozens of tweets are coming in every minute using #IceBucketChallenge.
While I can’t say that I personally would pour ice water over my head and it’s a little bizarre to keep seeing these videos on Facebook, I will always give credit where credit is due. Whoever thought of this campaign is a genius. It has gone completely viral, and for such a great cause. And although some people are soaking themselves to avoid making a donation, many of them are likely doing both. Since July 29, the ALS Association has received an impressive $4 million in donations, compared to $1.12 million during the same time period last year.
Check out a few of our favorite ALS Ice Bucket Challenge videos here: