Ice + Water + Internet = Awareness, Donations, and a Viral Sensation

Sometimes the Internet gets it right – like in the case of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

IceWhat started out as a simple challenge to raise awareness for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, quickly spread into a philanthropic viral sensation that so far has raised over $1.3 million for The ALS Association.

On July 31, former Boston College baseball player Pete Frates posted a video on Facebook, challenging his friends to dump a bucket of ice water on their heads to help raise awareness for the degenerative disease that has robbed Frates of his ability to speak.

Pretty soon, the #IceBucketChallenge went viral – and the rest is Internet history.  Celebrities from Martha Stewart to Justin Timberlake have taken the challenge, which shows no signs of slowing.

You can join in the challenge by taking a video of yourself (and friends) and posting it on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #IceBucketChallenge, and then challenge friends you know to do it within 24 hours or else make a donation to support ALS.

Having raised money for ALS, I know how difficult raising awareness can be for a disease that affects a relatively small number of people compared to other diseases.  But the Ice Bucket Challenge has proven that it can be done.

Visit the Facebook page for the challenge, Team Frate Train, here.  Visit Pete Frates’s web page here.

UPDATE (8/13/14): Jimmy Fallon accepted Justin Timberlake’s challenge.  Nicely done.



Comments or feedback?  Contact me on Twitter @juanros.

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