HASHTAG DONATE: #icebucketchallenge

Photo Credit: http://www.alsa.org/
Photo Credit: http://www.alsa.org/

By VALERIA MUZZIN

Everyone is doing it: the #icebucketchallenge is on every social network right now. From Cara Delevigne to Donatella Versace, from Rihanna to Robert Downey Jr., hundreds of public figures from every industry have had a bucket of ice-cold water poured over their heads in the name of charity. Plenty of people have accepted the challenge, but how many have donated, too?

For the few who still don’t know, the #icebucketchallenge is the equivalent of a chain email, where people nominate a group of ten other friends on Facebook to pour a bucket of ice water over their heads. The nominees then post a video braving the bucket of ice water, and name the next ten who have 24 hours accept the challenge and donate to the ALS Association. Most people do not realize that the #icebucketchallenge was started by the ALS Association. ALS, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, is a progressive neurodegenerative illness that damages motoneurons, the cells that enable us to move voluntarily. Some ALS patients end up completely paralyzed by the disease. Unfortunately, little is known about how ALS really works or its causes. This is why the ALS Association decided to start an alternative fundraiser. Each challenge is supposed to accompany a donation to the association. The #icebucketchallenge represents what people fighting ALS disease go through every day.

These videos are not only to encourage donations and increase ALS awareness. They also represent support to the ALS community and their families. Every day, 15 people are diagnosed with ALS, and annually, it kills 68,000 people. On Sept. 11, over $111 million had been raised through the #icebucketchallenge.

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