The Importance of the Ice Bucket Challenge

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In July 2014, anyone with an internet connection or who had access to a television could tell you about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, so spending time explaining what it is would be tedious. In short, the challenge was to raise awareness and donations for the disease Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), aka, Lou Gehrig’s disease. Regarding that purpose, it was a huge success. Many celebrities, athletes, and online personalities participated and donated. The ALS Association reported that it received $100 million in extra donations during this short period, compared to the $19.4 million that it earned at the end of last year.

For anyone/anything to be able to raise $100 million in just around two months is amazing, and shows us something important. When enough people get behind something, they can almost achieve anything.

The specifics of the challege are as follows: If you are challenged, they you have to respond within twenty-four hours, otherwise you have to write a check to the organization. The challenge entails filling a bucket with ice water and dumping it over your head or having a friend do it for you, on camera. Then you challenge three others to do the same. At that rate, assuming most accept the challenge, the explosion in popularity isn’t surprising.

Many are trying to say that the challenge is more focused on the action than the actual donations, but that’s the point. The action is weird, silly, and hilarious to watch. People will want to imitate it. They will want to participate. Not everyone is going to donate, that is a given, but what the challenge did was get donations for a disease that needed it. Even some professors and students from SMSU have participated and donated.

What this shows is that if you can get the world’s attention for just long enough, you can get it to do amazing things, and in today’s age, attention is hard to grasp.

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