What is the Ice Bucket Challenge | HomeFirst

What is the Ice Bucket Challenge

If you’re on social media, you’ve probably already seen it. Maybe it’s even given you chills! The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is all the rage right now, and it’s showing no signs of slowing down. Considering how effective this viral phenomenon has been, that’s a good thing! The Ice Bucket challenge has helped raise millions of dollars for ALS research, as well as significant awareness about the disease.

We’ve seen so many people get involved. From athletes like Justin Verlander, to celebrities like Lady Gaga, to public figures like President George W. Bush, millions of daring people have taken the Ice Bucket Challenge.

Here’s everything you need to know about ALS and the Ice Bucket Challenge:

What is ALS?

According to the ALS Association: 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.

What is the Ice Bucket Challenge?

The Ice Bucket Challenge is the activity of dumping a bucket of ice water on your head or donating money to the ALS Association of the United States. Individuals take a video of themselves dumping ice water on their heads and post it online — along with a challenge for their friends to do the same.

How do I get started?

It’s easy! Just grab a bucket and fill it with water and ice. With somebody taping, dump the bucket on your head, and challenge three friends to do the same. Post the video on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube or Instagram, and tag your friends to let them know they’ve been challenged!

How much money has been raised?

As of August 22, the Ice Bucket Challenge had raised over $50 million for the ALS Association. The campaign, which started on July 29, has broken all-time daily donation records on multiple days. Those numbers are compared to $1.9 million raised during the same time period last year.

Where can I learn more?

You can visit the ALS Association website, or watch videos on social media. Use the hash tag #ALSIceBucketChallenge to find people doing the challenge.


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