The National Impact of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

John Krasinski ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

John Krasinski ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

And the nominees are…”

No, this is not the Emmys or Oscars. Rather, it’s a casting call for acquaintances, friends, or family by individuals and celebrities who challenge them to dump a bucket full of ice water on their heads. Why, you ask? This outlandish challenge that hundreds of thousands have participated in and even more are conscious of is a social media campaign to raise money and awareness for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), more commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

The Ice Bucket Challenge, which began surfacing in the media earlier this summer, has only continued to bombard popular social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter since it picked up speed in July. Your Facebook newsfeed has likely informed you of someone completing the challenge every hour with an uploaded video. In addition to your friends and acquaintances participating in the Ice Bucket Challenge, every week, more and more celebrities join the cause and nominate others to do the same.

Individuals post a video stating they have been nominated by another person to complete the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. After they have been dowsed in ice-cold water, the individual commissions a few others to complete the challenge, or to donate funds to the ALS Association.

One social criticism of the Ice Bucket Challenge lies in the fact that some skeptics weren’t convinced that all of the videos uploaded to social media were making any real impact. Many individuals feel the because of the challenge’s vigorous spread in the media that the Ice Bucket Challenge is nothing but just a stunt, or “slacktivism.” There are many people asking, “If the challenge is for charity, then why don’t people just donate money?” Not to mention—if people are completing the challenge, are they also donating afterwards?

Whether the challenge is genuine or not, the ALS Association has confirmed the viral spread through the media is actually helping. More than 22 million dollars has been raised, and the donations are still growing. According to the ALS Association, any recognition for this incurable disease is appreciated. It’s good to know that the challenge is actually generating charitable results, helping people with ALS to remain hopeful; that a cure will soon hopefully be discovered.

So, if you’re one of the ‘lucky’ nominees, will you give in to the Ice Bucket Challenge? Do you think that campaigns like this are helpful in advancing medicine and finding cures for deadly diseases?

Regardless of your thoughts, my personal favorite video was from John Krasinski and Emily Blunt – check them out below!


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