ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Oprah-IceBucketChallengeFacebook feeds, Twitter timelines and Instagram have been taken over by the ALS #IceBucketChallenge.

Former Boston College baseball star Pete Frates, age 29, is the inspiration behind the viral ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.  He’s lost his speaking voice as a result of ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) however the viral Ice Bucket Challenge campaign he’s inspired has given a major voice to awareness and fundraising.

There is no cure or effective treatment for ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. It is fatal.  Raising consciousness for the cause helps advance research, promote education, and advance quality of life for those affected by ALS.

Numerous celebs have gotten onboard with the Ice Bucket Challenge: Lebron James, Oprah, Bill Gates, Justin Bieber, Cristiano Ronaldo, JLo, Taylor Swift, and Chris Pratt.  While the celeb videos are great, I enjoy seeing so many kids take part. Learning about charity and helping others is refreshing to see in a generation often criticized for being self centered takers.

Of course with all good things come critics.  I was disappointed to hear so much criticism about the Ice Bucket Challenge campaign.  It’s raising dollars & education for a good cause. I see no harm in it.  The biggest assholes naysayers call it a narcissistic trend. Hmm…Having a hospital wing or a building named after you on a college campus isn’t narcissistic???  There are aspects of fundraising that tap into some people’s self fulfilling prophecy but good natured human beings also exist.

ALS has found a way to speak to this generation and excite everyone about giving.  The Ice Bucket Challenge is fun to partake in and fun to watch.  How many times have you ignored something in your email inbox from a given charity?  Have you actually stopped to listen to a solicitor’s campaign for a non profit organization?  How many direct mailers have your thrown away from charities asking for donations?

According to the ALS Association, they have received $11.4 million in donations compared to $1.7 million during the same time period last year (July 29 to August 16).  In the two-week span after the Ice Bucket Challenge began, almost 146,000 new donors have come on board.

The Ice Bucket Challenge is raising awareness and funds. It’s up to you the level of interest and contribution you make.  Watch the videos, research ALS on your own, make a donation, or ignore it.  But to sit around and complain about it just promotes asshole awareness and the fact that some people feel the need to complain about everything.

The mission of the Pet Frates’ project will continue to thrive thanks to this compelling campaign. A once obscure disease, ALS is getting national attention and people are donating.  Also, the videos are giving a nation something to smile about at a time when the world is filled with turmoil, injustice, and heartbreak.

To get more information about ALS or make a contribution go HERE.

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