Remember about a year ago when your Facebook news feed was filled with videos of mates randomly dumping buckets of ice water over their heads for no specific reason and then telling you that you should do it too? The meaning may have become a little lost but there actually was a reason to this madness.
The Ice Bucket Challenge is believed to come from Boston College in 2013, conceived by a student sufferer of ALS – Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease (Motor Neurone Disease in the UK) and it was originally a thing done on the American football scene.
It evolved into a 2014 challenge which was used to increase awareness of the illness as well as raise funds for its research by making an absolute soaking wet tit of yourself. Participants were encouraged to film the foolish feat with a smartphone then share it online, nominating others to continue the challenge by doing the same. If you declined to do this when nominated then the forfeit would be making a donation to the ALS cause.
Social media must-follows and public figures including wrestler-turned-action-megastar The Rock and Facebook pioneer Mark Zuckerberg got involved in the campaign last summer and Lady Gaga made it a bit weird with her own artistic contribution. There were also some incredible Ice Bucket Challenge fail compilations from the general public which still produce the lols on YouTube.
Whether you took part in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge or not, understood why you were doing it or were just following the trend, you may be surprised that this seemingly lunatic fad actually did really good things.
Resulting in over $220-million donated 67% of this has gone into research the disease with 20% into patient care and 9% into educating the public about ALS. Only 2% has gone towards external processing fees and another 2% towards fundraising. (Source Business Insider).
The power of social media, ladies and gentlemen. You may hate it much of the time but it really is a great tool when put to good use.