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The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and Giving

Updated on December 3, 2014

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge History

First, let's start with a history lesson. From Wiki:

The origins of the idea of dumping cold water on one's head to raise money for charity are unclear and have been attributed to multiple sources. During the Northern-Hemisphere winter of 2013–14, a challenge of unknown origin often called the "Cold Water Challenge" became popular on social media in areas of the Northern United States. The task usually involved the option of either donating money to cancer research or having to jump into cold water.

One version of the challenge started in New Zealand on July 4, 2014, with a fundraising page on behalf of the Cancer Society to help support patients and their families through the trauma of a cancer diagnosis. As with similar challenges, it was usually filmed so footage can be shared online.

The challenge was popularized in the United States on June 30, 2014, when personalities of the program, Morning Drive, which airs weekdays on Golf Channel, televised the social-media phenomenon, and performed a live, on-air ice bucket challenge. Soon after, on July 15, 2014, golfer Chris Kennedy did the Ice Bucket Challenge and challenged his cousin Jeanette Senerchia of Pelham, NY, whose husband, Anthony, has had ALS for 11 years. A day later she did the challenge while her 6-year-old daughter filmed her in front of their house. Senerchia's network on Facebook connected with Pat Quinn, a 31-year-old in Yonkers, NY, who was diagnosed with ALS in March 2013. Quinn called upon his friends and family. Soon, his whole network was posting challenges, including family in Florida, friends in Ireland and Greece, and a bar full of locals, which was broadcast on local television

Ice Bucket Challenge

Ice Bucket Challenge
Ice Bucket Challenge | Source

Why All The Hype?

So let's get this straight -- this has been going on for years and yet this is really the first time that it's getting nationwide coverage? Let's think about why this could be the case right now:

  • Facebook, Twitter and social networks make it easier and more acceptable to send photos and videos of people dumping buckets of icy water on their heads
  • Serious VIP presence. Maybe it's a by-product of the first point given that Elon Musk and Bill Gates are trading jabs on Twitter before taking the bucket
  • International love. Again, with the thriving social landscape, the world gets smaller and you end up with big time international icons doing the deed for charity
  • We need a break from the bad news. Two weeks into the tragedy at Ferguson, ongoing bombing of ISIS, the beheading of a journalist, and all of this is on top of our regular news coverage of bad economy and rampant crime
  • The movie Frozen. Thinking about it -- we're still reeling from "Let It Go" and "For the First Time in Forever" that maybe we just wanted to see more and more ice.

Ice Bucket

Ice Bucket
Ice Bucket | Source

Would you do the Ice Bucket Challenge to raise $100

Would you do the Ice Bucket Challenge to raise $100

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The Spirit of Giving

The latest update says that over $31 million has been raised because of the ice bucket challenge and all of the news coverage. That's fantastic that in this world where we constantly have to come up with reasons for hope that so many people are participating for a cause like this.

And then I thought about all the wonderful charities we have in the nation. We're really fortunate to have hard-working volunteers for top-tier organizations with low overhead costs that are able to put the bulk of proceeds directly into research and prevention. And I think the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation is probably the best example that we have of that. Who would have that the man who ruled Microsoft would effectively lead the fight against disease and education reform?

And then I thought about when I walk through the shopping mall and I'm approaching by really shady looking characters with a thin binder and talking about an organization I've never heard of. Now, it's not like the guy at the mall is the Craiglist or email scammer related to the Nigerian prince, but who really knows, right? Why is it that for as much as we give to great organizations, we also willingly give to unproven fronts and shell corporations?

Even when I was at my lowest financially I made sure to make monthly donations to my charity of choice, because not only does it make the world a better place, but it's the least I can do. And seeing all the giving and joy around the ice bucket challenge really make me want to give more to my charity this month. Maybe I'll even go visit the guy at the mall and find out if he really would use my $1 to help feed hungry children in Africa.

ALS Logo

ALS Association
ALS Association | Source

Bill Gates Ice Bucket Challenge

About DealForALiving

I believe that being frugal and making smart money choices is like any other exercise. As we continue to practice good habits in saving money where possible, finding deals for what we want, and having a good time at it, then we become better at dealing for a living.

I'm committed to sharing my experiences with getting the most out of using credit cards, saving and spending tips, and I might even add a slice of perspective without trying to be a psychoanalyst like some other personal finance folks out there.

Please let me know what you think and if you'd like to hear my take on a specific topic.

Most Sincerely,

DealForALiving

PS. I've also started writing on my own site: dealforaliving.com.

DealForALiving

DealForALiving
DealForALiving | Source

Comments

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    • DealForALiving profile image
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      Sam Deal 3 years ago from Earth

      Thanks again, btrbell. Right, no reason for all the negativity around the ice bucket challenge. We'll just have to wait and see what the next big social good cause phenomenon is, won't we?

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 3 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Agreed! There has been a lot of negativity surrounding it but I think it's just sour grapes. They should be saying "Why didn't I think of that?" Then they can think about what they can do for their causes.

      Great pun, btw!

    • DealForALiving profile image
      Author

      Sam Deal 3 years ago from Earth

      Thank you for stopping by and commenting, brtrbell! I was thinking that with all of the potential negative effects of widespread social networks, and youth not being able to handle the responsibility, there is a real potential for Pay It Forward-type positive change. This Ice Bucket challenge might just be the tip of the iceberg (darn pun).

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 3 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      I, for one, commend any charitible organization that is clever enough to find a great way to raise awareness and funds. I am certain that many people know a whole lot more about ALS now (myself included) It wuld be great to see more initiatives like this for all the many worthy causes. Thank you for writing this hub. Welcome to Hubpages!

    • DealForALiving profile image
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      Sam Deal 3 years ago from Earth

      Isn't it lovely how little coverage there is of the hypocrisy in government? I guess there are only so many hours in the day. And where would you start?

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      I understand Paul Ryan got the ice/water dumped on him after he had already voted to end gov. funding for ALS. Wonder if we could dump some ice/water on all the obstructionists to wake them up? I guess Ryan is proof it wouldn't do that . . .

    • DealForALiving profile image
      Author

      Sam Deal 3 years ago from Earth

      Alicia, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and I'm sorry to hear about your mother. When you get down to brass tacks, they're raising a lot of money and awareness for a terrible disease, and it's proven the positive potential of social media.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you for creating this hub. I don't care how silly the ice bucket challenge is, I'm just so glad that the current challenge is raising money and awareness for ALS. My mother died of this illness. It's a horrible disease. I've read that enough people are dumping ice cold water on themselves and donating money at the same time - even though this isn't the way that the challenge is supposed to work - that a significant amount of money is being raised to support ALS patients and the research related to the disease.

    • DealForALiving profile image
      Author

      Sam Deal 3 years ago from Earth

      Yeah it's been hard for me to wrap my head around everyone getting involved in the fun. Then again, it is summer so dumping cold water on oneself is nice and refreshing.

    • DealForALiving profile image
      Author

      Sam Deal 3 years ago from Earth

      Thanks for the insight on what the ice bucket challenge represents, and I'm with you on not understanding why people wouldn't donate either way.

    • DealForALiving profile image
      Author

      Sam Deal 3 years ago from Earth

      Thanks for chiming in tony 55!

    • Alphadogg16 profile image

      Kevin W 3 years ago from Texas

      The ice cold water dump represents the nerve feelings that ALS suffers have, which is noble, but if dumping water on your head means you do not donate, it doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

    • tony55 profile image

      femi 3 years ago from Nigeria

      Charity giving is noble but dumping ice cold water on yourself is just plain silly.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago from Texas

      Hello DealForALiving, All my nieces and nephews are doing this. I don't think I could stand it. I am not a cold water (except to drink) person.