You have probably seen videos of people dumping a bucket of ice water on their head in your social media feeds. It has proven to be an extremely effective way to raise money for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Here’s how it works. Someone with a bucket of ice water challenges three people to either dump a bucket of ice water on their head within 24 hours or donate $100 to a ALS charity. That person then dumps the bucket of ice water on their own head to complete the challenge that was previously extended to them and donate $10 to a ALS charity of their choice.
The first video of the Ice Bucket Challenge was created by Jeanette Hane Senerchia on July 16th, 2014 to raise awareness for ALS on behalf of Anthony Senerchia Jr. It appears that the challenge was popularized by Boston College baseball player Pete Frates on Twitter, who also has ALS. There are now more than 1.2 million Ice Bucket Challenge videos on Facebook alone.
Even celebrities including Aaron Rodgers, Conan O’Brien, Justin Timberlake, Jeff Bezos, as well as the Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page have accepted the challenge. Yesterday Mark Zuckerberg challenged Bill Gates who took it to another level. Oprah is getting ready today to take the challenge. To see a running list of celebrities accepting the challenge check out Ice Bucket Challenge on Wikipedia.
How well is it all working? Awareness has obviously increased, new ALS donors total 150,000 as of yesterday, and 5.5 million in donations have come in since July 29th.
To donate or learn more visit the ALS Association.