The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is sweeping social media. Friends, family members, celebrities–even my seven-year-old–have been challenged to donate to the ALS (short for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) Association or dump a bucket of ice water over their heads to increase awareness. And after completing the Ice Bucket Challenge, many have nominated multiple people, creating a viral movement.
According to the ALSA.org, the disease also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease is “a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord”. Individuals afflicted with ALS lose the ability to initiate and control their muscles, eventually leading to paralysis and death in advanced stages.
In a Saturday press release from the ALS Association, the organization reports that, because of the Ice Bucket Challenge, they have tallied $62.5 million in donations from existing donors and over 1.2 million new donors. This time last year (between July 29-August 23), the ALS Association had only received $2.4 million.
This is a powerful example of movement marketing, demonstrating the ability of social media to spark a viral cultural movement. It’s also a prime illustration of the difference individuals can make when called to be part of something bigger than themselves. These funds will help further the ALS Association’s mission to research a cure for the disease, provide support to people with ALS and their loved ones and advocate public policy that will make life with ALS a little easier.
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