Are ALS Ice Bucket Challenges actually raising money for the ALS Association, or is this just another fad and popularity contest soon to pass? If you have a Facebook or Twitter account, then surely your timeline is flooded with video posts of family, friends, co-workers, professional athletes and entertainers across the world performing the Ice Bucket Challenge. However not to short change the all the glitz surrounding the Ice Bucket Challenge I'm going to quote Tom Cruise from the movie Jerry McGuire and say, “show me the money”.
What is ALS?
ALS is often referred to as Lou Gehrigs's Disease and for those of you who don't know who Lou Gehrig was, Lou Gehrig was the NY Yankees first baseman for 17 seasons. Lou Gehrig retired from baseball when he was stricken with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or AlS for short. ALS is a neurodegenerative disease which affects nerve cells in not only the brain, but the spinal cord as well. In short, the motor neurons used to voluntarily control your muscles are being slowly killed off and the person with ALS is progressively becoming paralyzed. Early symptoms of ALS include muscle weakness in the arms, legs, speech and breathing. As the neurons are being killed off, the muscles being affected become smaller and significantly shrink from their original size.
What is the ice bucket challenge and how does it help the ALS Association?
Log on to your Facebook or Twitter account. Check out Instagram and Youtube and you will see the Ice Bucket Challenge performed in a variety of ways. From a simple small bucket of ice water to a 55 gallon drum, to a bucket on a front loader, there is no shortage of creativity to dump ice cold water on ones head. However, is there a proper method to perform the challenge? The answer is simple, no there isn't. The ALS Association only asks two things of us. The first thing is that if you live in an area of the world that is being affected by a drought, that you are able to repurpose the water as not to waste it. The second stipulation is to use hash-tags when posting videos on the web. For examples of how to post videos properly, check out the ALS association website.
What if some one is called out to perform the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and the person being called out does not do it? There is no rule set in stone, but it seems that it is protocol that the person not carrying out the challenge is to donate $100 to the ALS Association. However if the person being called out does perform the challenge, then protocol seems to indicate that the person doing the challenge is to donate $10 to the ALS Association. Either way, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is to help promote awareness and funds to find a cure.
How much money has been raised
According to the national office of the ALS Association, in 2012 $19 million was raised towards awareness. In 2013 when AlS first began the Ice Bucket Challenge, the national office raised $64 million dollars. Since the beginning of 2014 through July, the national office has raised over $53 million dollars. So you may say to yourself that you are sick and tired of your Facebook or Twitter feed being filled on a daily basis with ALS Ice Bucket Challenges, but the bottom line is that a tremendous amount of not only money but awareness has been brought to fight this terrible disease.