VIEWPOINT – Ice bucket challenge drenches nation for awareness, funds

by Amanda Gomez/tr news editor

Social media has again come up with a clever way to bring attention to a cause.

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other outlets have thrust their digital spotlight on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis disease through a unique event by the ALS Association. 

The ALS ice bucket challenge has gone viral. Even NE Campus President Larry Darlage joined in for the cause. From celebrities and athletes to family and friends, it seems as if everyone is getting all wet for charity.

Some of the celebrities and athletes to take part in the challenge include David Beckham, Bill Gates, Ryan Seacrest, Chris Hemsworth, Kelly Clarkson and Jennifer Lopez. Everyone uses the #icebucketchallenge so people can view their videos. Simply type the hashtag into the search bar in social media outlets to see videos. The good thing of having celebrities and athletes participating is the amount of publicity the challenge receives. People can see their favorite actor or football player getting soaked — all for the cause.

ALS is a progressive disease affecting the nerves that control muscles, which can eventually lead to respiratory compromise. It became known as “Lou Gehrig’s disease” because of the Hall of Fame baseball player who was diagnosed with the disease and forced to retire. He died of the disease in 1941. Over 5,600 people are diagnosed with this disease each year.

The purpose of the ice bucket challenge is to spread ALS awareness around the world through social media. The challenge involves people pouring buckets of ice water on their heads and nominating others to do it too. If they decline, they are asked to donate to the ALS charity of their choice.

The donations help with finding treatments and cures, research, care services and public education and awareness. If you want to donate, please go to

When much of social media content revolves around pictures of cats and what users ate for lunch, the ice bucket challenge is a refreshing change. YouTube has become the medium of choice to publicize tens of thousands of people pouring buckets of ice water on their heads. Donations so far have reached over $80 million.

In a long, hot summer, dousing yourself for a charitable cause makes sense, especially if you do it on your water-restricted lawn.