Opinion: ALS ice bucket challenge a positive thing
On Sunday, I dumped a bucket of ice water on my head. But that probably doesn't shock you.
On Sunday, I dumped a bucket of ice water on my head. But that probably doesn't shock you, because odds are you've done the same thing recently.
In fact, UCF's own Knightro, Blake Bortles and Storm Johnson have also taken an ice bath in the past month — still waiting on UCF President John C. Hitt, though.
Yes, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has taken social media and Wal-Mart's bucket aisle by storm, leading celebrities such as Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Lil Wayne and Taylor Swift to partake in the fun. But if you've been living under a rock, let me explain how it works.
Once someone has nominated you to take the challenge, you'll just need a bucket of water, some ice and a video camera — oh, and hopefully a bad hair day. Then either in a bath tub, outside or wherever you don't mind getting soaked, you pour the ice into the bucket of water and dump it over your head on camera. Then, upload the video to a social media platform and nominate three people to also take the challenge. They then have 24 hours to complete the challenge or they must donate $100 to the ALS Association.
So what does pouring a bucket of freezing water over your head do to help ALS awareness? Apparently, a lot.
From June 1 to Aug. 13, more than 1.2 million videos have been shared on Facebook, and there have been more than 2.2 million mentions on Twitter since July 29. But more important, as of Sunday, the ALS Association has received $13.3 million in donations since July 29, compared with only $1.7 million that it raised during the same time period last year, according to the New York Times. The huge spike in donations is most likely due to the 260,000 new donors the Association saw this year.
Despite all the good the campaign is doing, there are always critics. Some people have a problem with those who post videos without actually contributing to the cause, also known as "slacktivism."
I get that. We never caught Kony — some people probably thought Kony 2012 was some failed presidential campaign.
But this is different. Since the conception of the Ice Bucket Challenge, the ALS Association has seen a 1,000-percent increase in donations, according to the Huffington Post. Enough said.
Of course, there are those people who don't donate. And I'll be honest, I'm one of them.
I'm a broke college student, and I know that's nothing compared to having ALS, but I simply cannot afford to donate any money.
But words are powerful, too.
In addition to the insane amount of money this campaign has raised, it's got people talking. If you hadn't heard of ALS before, you know about it now.
Pete Frates, a 29-year-old former baseball player with ALS, helped get the ball rolling on the challenge. And what does he have to say about the disease?
"The end is always the same. ALS always wins. So in order to rewrite the end of it, we need to raise awareness [and] money," he said.
And that's exactly what the Ice Bucket Challenge is doing. So grab a bucket and some ice, and step up to the challenge.