The ice bucket challenge is everywhere. It’s on Instagram, it’s in my hometown, it’s in the city I currently live in, it’s all over the country, it’s completely filling my Facebook news feed. It’s being done by family, friends, celebrities. It’s everywhere. I’ve seen pictures and videos of a variety of different people accepting the challenge, from the Alabama football team, to George Bush, to Weird Al, GMA, the cast of Grey’s Anatomy, Texas Tech’s football team, Josh Groban, the Rock, Mark Zuckerberg, Tom Cruise, Oprah, Dierks Bentley, to friends I grew up with, family, and people in memory of loved ones who have lost their battle with ALS.
I admit, it got a little old for a while when it started really going viral. Some even went as far as to voice their annoyance via social media, saying that instead of pouring (and wasting) gallons of water on yourself, you should instead donate to ALS. For a minute, I thought so too. But then again, the entire point of the ice bucket challenge is to raise awareness for ALS. A lot of people are dumping water and ice on themselves and making a donation. Either way, ALS donations continue to pour in, according to the ALS Association. As of Thursday, August 21, 2014, the ALS Association had received $41.8 million in donations compared to the $2.1 million during the same time period last year (July 29-August 21). Y’all. That’s HUGE! Take a moment to really think about the purpose behind this movement.
I am not personally affected by ALS, and neither are any of my family or friends. However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t thousands of individuals and families out there battling this terrible, terrible disease. Exactly what IS ALS? It stands for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. For more information on the disease, head over to the ALS Association’s website here.
And then, I came across the video below. I challenge you to take 6 minutes and 51 seconds out of your day and watch this video in its entirety.
Do you have a different perspective now? I know I do! Now, instead of rolling my eyes at yet another ice bucket challenge video, I will be grinning from ear to ear, knowing that it reached more people and that more donations are rolling in. This is some people’s reality, and if all it takes is a little ice water and a hashtag (#icebucketchallenge), then the question of WHY are people dumping water and ice on themselves instead of donating should really become why not?! It’s helping. It’s raising awareness. It’s bringing in money for research. It’s making a difference.