Surely, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has helped a lot of people since it has gone viral. It has already earned US $15M (and still counting) from the donations of people worldwide. A lot of the big name personalities around the world have even taken the challenge to raise awareness.
What is ALS?
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed (ALS Association).
The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is an activity that involves dumping a bucket of ice water on one’s head. The challenge dares to be filmed having a bucket of ice water poured on their heads.
The taker of the challenge has the chance to dare other people to do it as well. Within 24 hours of being challenged, they are expected to film themselves doing the same thing. The challenge is done for the people to feel ice numbness – a brief sensation of what it feels like to have ALS.
Like any other causes, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge aims to raise awareness and generate money to help the people who are in need. Since it has gone viral, it has already earned more than US $15M from the donations of the people worldwide. But at what real cost is this challenge really for?
I worry that because of the fame it has gotten, some people are just doing it just to feel “in” and/or “cool”. How many of those who filmed themselves doing the challenge really bothered to at least google what ALS stands for? It makes people think that helping out requires a cool selfie.
I understand that it is really hard to make campaigns that would really catch the attention of people. Companies around the world spend millions just to make sure they reach your timeline on social networking sites. Obviously, the brains behind this challenge have succeeded in reaching their goal. But do we have to waste a bucket of water?
Campaigns on preserving water still do exist. I think that we do know that until today, some people from other places still do not enjoy clean water. While we waste buckets of water for this challenge, some suffer from thirst, and diseases brought by unclean water.
If you really want to help out, don’t just dump a bucket of ice water – take time to get to know the cause. Do not just do it just because it has gone viral and you think it is uncool not to do the same; do it because you really want to help.
It’s not that I am against the cause. It really has raised awareness and earned money for people those who are need. What I am just trying to say is that it doesn’t hurt to at least give the challenge a thought first before doing it. Well.. Charlie Sheen did dump a bucket of $10k over his head. Ice melts but money doesn’t. *winks*