Carisa Holmes-Peters, Owner at Holmes Marketing Services
If you use social media, then you have no doubt seen videos posted on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or YouTube that show someone taking the ice bucket challenge and dumping freezing cold ice water over their head.
I have been watching this trend spread quickly over the past few weeks and have even enjoyed seeing the celebrity videos that have popped up. This challenge came into my own home when my husband was called out by a friend to complete the challenge within 24 hours. With my 12 year old son holding an iPhone, a bucket from the garage, ice out of the refrigerator and my 5 year old daughter doing the honors of pouring in the ice prior to the dumping it over his head he completed the challenge and then nominated more individuals to do so.
My husband didn’t know what ALS was when he was first called out for this challenge, and he asked me if I knew. A Holmes employee’s mother had passed from the disease in 2000, so I had an awareness that ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), which is often referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.
I found myself amazed at how an idea as simple as the ice bucket challenge, paired with the use of social media, could raise such a large amount of money and create the awareness that it has in such a short time. It has rapidly become widespread and powerful enough that as of Sunday, the association said it had received $13.3 million in donations since July 29, compared with $1.7 million during the same period last year. There have also been over 300,000 new donors. Those results most likely surpass what one would expect to have happen with an organized, structured fundraising plan, that much more effort and thought were poured into.
The simplicity of this and how social media has allowed it to evolve is truly amazing. Regardless of how long this craze lasts, the funds raised and the awareness that has been created for ALS did in fact make an impact and educated many that would not have otherwise been familiar. It’s also a reminder that we are just one passionate, creative idea away from doing something extremely amazing to help others!